Forgive the interruption between my inquiry on Revolutionary Demonology, but it seems there’s been a nuisance coming my way. Suffice it say that, it is quite incredible to see what lengths some people will go to in order to keep other people’s mouths shut. Last month, I wrote an article about a small Italian Theistic Satanist organisation called the Union of Italian Satanists (or, Unione Satanisti Italiani), in which I analysed their philosophy as best I could, and discussed its relationship to the ideology of National Socialism. It would seem that, since then, the leader of the USI, Jennifer Crepuscolo (or rather Jennifer Mezzatta), has discovered that article, and is none too happy about what I have said. In fact, she sent a message to the Facebook page of this website to say this:
Your article on Unione Satanisti Italiani is dishonest and leads to slander. Precisely for this reason we’re evaluating with our law firm to proceed with a lawsuit against you. We hope that in the future you will be more careful about making unfounded accusations. You should have read more about us before writing such slanders. We are open to discussion but we do not like those who try to cleverly reinterpret our contents with malice.
Since you chose to wrongfully assault us, if we have any other contact between us, it will likely be through the law.
For posterity, here is the same message in a screenshot taken from the messages of my blog’s Facebook page:
“Best regards”? Yes I suppose that is the polite way to conclude a message in which you accuse me of “assault”. But observe the utter folly of what Jennifer is saying. Her objection is that my article is “dishonest” and “leads to slander”, and that for this reason she thinks she can intimidate me with groundless threats of litigation. Take stock of this: I am not even primarily being accused of slander, I am being accused of writing things that “could lead to slander”. How exaclty do you intend to prove that? And just how can you charge someone on the basis that you think what they said “could lead to slander”? Do you not see how legally absurd that is on its own, let alone the idea of hashing that out internationally?
As long as we’re focusing on the “dishonesty” canard, I intend to talk about many things I discussed in the original article, but I would also point out that Jennifer Mezzetta’s Facebook bio contains the words “Onore a Satana, il Dio Gentile dell’Anima”, or, “Honor to Satan, the Gentile God of the Soul”.
I don’t know how anyone thinks they can beat any allegations of Nazism when they openly and publicly refer to their version of the Satan they worship as “the Gentile God”. Remember that the USI also talks on their website about Jewish influences being a corruption of Satanism. In this context especially, “Gentile” is a dogwhistle being used by non-Jews, or more specifically by white non-Jews, define themselves in active contradistinction to Jewishness.
Jennifer seems keen enough to talk about “slander”. But slander is only slander if I am wrong and have made up everything that the USI website says from whole cloth. I contend that I am not wrong, and that the USI cannot prove that I am inventing its own words, let alone drag me from my home country just for a case that they don’t have and which would be dismissed. And just to underscore all of this, let’s focus on the parts where I talk about the particularly objectionable highlights of the USI’s website. We will present screenshots of these highlights, with the Italian and English language versions side by side, in that order, for maximum posterity.
This will be a systematic overview of the antisemitism and Nazi alignment of the USI, focusing largely on material I already covered, and more. These are, in large part, Jennifer’s own words, in that most of the articles being discussed have been written by Jennifer Creposcolo. We will also cover a few articles written by a USI member named Mandy Lord. Any accusation of “slander” will have to prove that they are not her own words. I maintain that this would be impossible, because they are clearly their words. This will not be terribly exhaustive, at least not compared to the entire breadth of the USI website, the totality of which I will not be covering. But I will cover much of what I have already discussed in my original article, which should also be enough to encapsulate the ideological content of the Union of Italian Satanists, in their own words.
Now, just bearing in mind. I am not entirely fluent on the Italian language. I have certain aspirations to effect, of course, but for the purpose of covering this article I am relying on available translations, which are of course provided as an option within the website via my browser. All English screenshots come from a Google-provided translation, which I am reasonably confident is not inaccurate, especially since I have not been made aware of any translation errors by anyone, especially not Jennifer Creposcolo.
The “God of the Gentiles” and Antisemitic Screeds About Jewish Mysticism
To start with, let’s refer to their pages on “Original Satanism” where they discuss Jewish mysticism as blasphemous, decry modern Satanist movements by accusing them of “Judaizing” Satanism, and assert that atheism is a product of “Jewish influence”. But first things first let’s just get one point out of the way right now: the fact that they refer to Satan as “God of the Gentiles”. That is what Jennifer says for instance in “What is Satanism really?” and it will be fairly important as a cornerstone of the USI’s philosophy.
Now, let’s see them talk about Jewish mysticism and the “Judaization” of Satanism. In “Cult of Origins”, Jennifer can be seen accusing other Satanists of being “slaves of the Jewish preconception” by accepting the etymology of Satan as meaning “Adversary”.
And here, in the same article, Jennifer writes that Satanic intiation centers around the “Satanist”‘s self-declaration of their “Gentile nature” and that the “Gentile” is centered around both their roots and the evolution of their “spiritual race”.
Immediately after this, Jennifer describes Jewish mysticism as “blasphemy”, again seemingly without a shred of irony or self-awareness, and accuses it of being “violent” and “opportunistic”.
There is much more antisemitism and Nazi ideology in this page alone right below this paragraph. Here, for instance, Jennifer refers to the awakening of “Gentile Memory”, and thereby a return to “our blood” (as in, the “blood of the Gentiles”), as the goal of her particular system of “Original Satanism”.
And afterwards, Jennifer goes on to refer to Jews as “historical criminals” who “corrupt” and “distort” the “Gentile” in various ways. For some reason the English translation seems to repeat the last few sentences.
Jennifer’s Nazi-esque Definition of Satanism
Moving on from this page, let’s briefly, and just as an aside, refer to this fairly colourful paragraph from the page “Define Yourself As Satanist”, in which we can see familiar fascist rhetoric about sex and gender identity that is used to justify transphobia, itself couched in a concept of “rootlessness” that is inherently tied to white identiarianism and antisemitism (the concept of “rootless cosmopolitans” as an antisemitic reference to Jews).
In their page “Etymology of the name Satan”, Jennifer refers to Satanists as the purest form of the “Gentile” while accusing Jewish people of racism towards non-Jews. It is important to note that here Jennifer incorrectly asserts that the Hebrew word “goyim” means “cattle”. The word “goy” actually means “nation”, not “cattle”, while in the Biblical context the word “goyim” often referred simply to the various non-Israelite nations.
Here of course we also see Jennifer establish a Sanskrit etymology by way of the words “Sat” and “Nam” as what she claims to be the “true” etymology of Satan, as opposed to the Hebrew etymology. There is of course no basis to any of this, and in fact it is an idea strongly associated with neo-Nazis such as the Joy of Satan group. I suspect that it was originally invented by Kerry Bolton, a white supremacist fascist who spent the 1990s spreading neo-Nazi interpretations of Satanism, neopaganism, and Thelema to various subcultural movements (such as black metal and industrial music) before eventually converting to Christianity.
There is an entire section dedicated to the etymology of the word “Aryan”, which the USI claims does not influence their philosophy in way, though it is also full of defenses of Nazi iconography as ancient and therefore legitimate symbology. Note that Jennifer also personally connects the mythology of Aryans and Hyperboreans to her own views the divine origins of the “Satanids” as linked to the lineage of the Nephilim and therefore the Fallen and Satan, which, contrary to what Jennifer says otherwise, establishes a credible ideological link between the concept of “Aryans” and her philosophy.
And, once again, at the end of this page, Jennifer once again links the religious identity of the “Satanist” with the racial identity of the “Gentile”.
Racist Nazi-esque Ramblings About “Satanid Nature”
Next, let’s refer to the article “Satanid Nature”. Here, we see Jennifer assert that the Jews made their pact with Yahweh because they wanted revenge and conquest and this is the cause of a progressive civilizational decline. She also seems to contrast this with the example of Jesus and his refusal of the temptations of Satan.
It is in this same page that Jennifer, who calls herself a “Satanist”, lauds the figure of Jesus Christ as a personifiction of “the Gentile spirit” as supposedly represented by ancient pre-Christian gods and by Satan. This idea clearly echoes Nazi ideology, which portrayed Jesus as an “Aryan” German god or hero instead of being Jewish.
Jennifer also seems to refer to the idea of a link between Satan and “wanton materialism” as the product of “Judeo-Christian corruption”. This opinion reflects a Nazi belief that materialism is Jewish in origin and thereby a corruption of the “Aryan” spirit.
And here, Jennifer accuses modern American Satanists of trying to “Judaize” Satanism, and thereby make it more “plebeian”, “lifeless”, and atheistic. Again, this presents the idea that atheism is a Jewish product, which is both inherently antisemitic in that it positions atheism as a form of corruption and a major component of Nazi ideology, in which the main opponent “Jewish materialism” is presented in opposition to “Aryan” idealism.
Now let’s turn to the page titled “The Way of Signs”, which features a discussion of the “black sun” alongside an image of the Nazi Sonnenrad symbol, which was invented for use by Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, as the insignia for Wewelsburg Castle.
Next let’s refer to their page about Lucifer, or “Luciferus”, written by Mandy Lord. This page contains multiple expressions of antisemitism and Nazi ideology. For example, Mandy almost dismisses a source because it was Jewish, and then proceeds to quote Otto Rahn, a Nazi Ariosophist who was also literally an Obersturmführer in the SS.
Later in the same page, Mandy quotes Miguel Serrano, a neo-Nazi occultist and proponent of a system referred to as Esoteric Hitlerism, before describing contemporary Christianity as “totally Judaicized” in contrast to its “Gentile origins”.
Jennifer’s Remarks on National Socialism
An important source of concern would be Jennifer’s “Joy of Satan Analysis”. First of all, let’s note that even Jennifer’s supposed criticism of Joy of Satan’s antisemitism also consists in the objection that she thinks that they are too Jewish. I’m not kidding around: Jennifer critcises Joy of Satan for having a “Jewish mentality”, even in their antisemitism. This “Jewish mentality” appears to simply consist of summoning demons in order to fulfill material needs, which is again based on the Nazi belief that materialism is a “Jewish corruption”.
And then, of course, there is in the same page Jennifer’s defense of National Socialism, which she seems to regard as fundamentally moral, noble, and ethical in substance.
The “Kabbalah” of Mandy Lord
In the page “Occult History”, Mandy Lord claims that Kabbalah is actually a non-Jewish system of mysticism that belonged to “the Arii” and came from Satan and his demons. Mandy also claims that there is an Egyptian Kabbalah, called “Ka Ba Ankh”, and a “true runic Kabbalah” practiced by the Druids, in contrast to Jewish Kabbalah. This idea is very similar to an idea from the Austrian volkisch mystic Guido von List, who claimed that the Kabbalah was originally invented by German “Aryans” rather than Jews.
Jennifer’s Views on “The Illuminati” (Somehow Even More Antisemitic!)
In an article titled “Are The Illuminati Satanists? But Also Not!”, Jennifer runs through a litany of antisemitic tropes about Jews while discussing the Illuminati. For example, early on she falsely claims that Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Bavarian Illuminati, was the son of a Jewish rabbi and supported by the Rothschild family. Adam Weishaupt’s father was a man named Johann Georg Weishaupt, who was in fact a lawyer and a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt, and there is no record of him ever having been a rabbi or of him having been Jewish.
Later, Jennifer talks about the so-called “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in an incredibly apologetic manner. She claims that it is not possible to know if “Protocols” was written by Jewish authors, claims that its content is being proven true “before our eyes”, and brings up verses from the Talmud that supposedly justify the book’s contents. I need to stress that this is blatant antisemitism.
There is also this take from Jennifer in the same article, which is once again a familiar element of fascist conspiracy theories, naturally latent with antisemitism. Basically she’s asserting that the Illuminati want to eliminate traditional gender roles and biological sex or all that stuff in order to somehow control society.
Of course this also comes with a standard ethnonationalist argument.
Jennifer again explicitly ties “the Illuminati” to Jews and asserts that they are aligned to Yahweh as the “God of Israel” and want to destroy all cultures that are not Jewish.
Jennifer puts forward an argument that Jews cannot be Satanists because Jews are “the Sons of Yahweh” and Satanists are “the Sons of Satan”. This is Jennifer arguing that Jews, because of their race, cannot be Satanists, and conversely that Satanists are Satanists because of their race. It is a racialist argument, and in this sense is antisemitic.
In the same article, Jennifer also defends ancient Roman colonialism by saying that the white colonialism was bad specifically because the white colonialists and slavers in question were “Judeo-Christian”. This is effectively blaming Jews for the enslavement of African-Americans and the systematic genocide of native Amerindians by white colonialists.
The Racial Mission of the Union of Italian Satanists
Finally, the mission of the USI, as outlined in “Presentation of Italian Satanists Union”, consists of three objectives. The third objective is “Restore Satanic Identity”. In the article, Jennifer establishes that the goal of the USI is to activate what she believes to be the racial consciousness of “the Gentiles” and that to be a Satanist you have to be born a Satanist as if genetically, and hence ethnically or racially.
I think that I have shown more than enough at this point. The website itself has much more content within it, but this was about demonstrating that what I have said to be the words of the USI are in fact the words of the USI. I would ask again: would anyone be able to prove that I am fabricating these words, and that this is not what Jennifer and the USI have said? What basis could there be for any claim of “dishonesty” or the potential to “lead to slander”, let alone “assault”? These are Jennifer’s own words, as well as those of Mandy Lord where applicable.
Being that there is little point in discussing any supposed case, let us simply summarize what USI say in their own words. We are talking about an organisation whose “Original Satanism” appears to be based on a racial ideology built around the idea “recovering” the “genetic memory” of the “Gentiles”. There is a heavy emphasis on “de-Judaicizing” Satanism, which entails reinterpreting Satan as a “Gentile” god of truth, soul, origin, and the divine order rather than The Adversary, Kabbalah as “Gentile” mysticism, and even Jesus as a “Gentile” hero who only opposed the Jewish Satan rather than the “Gentile” Satan, all of which mirror the Nazi ideology of “Positive Christianity”, whose volkisch interpretation of Christianity meant bracketing out everything the Nazis deemed to be Jewish “corruption”. The USI website contains defenses of the ideology of National Socialism and also features quotes from Nazi and neo-Nazi esotericists. Antisemitism is pervasive in the USI writings, sometimes more subtly and sometimes quite blatantly, as an effect of their racial ideology, even to the point that they can’t criticise antisemitism in others without also expressing their own antisemitism. The “noble Gentile spirit” is positioned in opposition to Jews and “Judeo-Christianity”, Christianity is described as an originally “Gentile” faith that they deem totally “corrupted” by Judaism, and antisemitic conspiracy theories form a major part of the USI’s opposition to both Judaism and Christianity. In short, USI an organisation that promotes an ethnofascist ideology strongly aligned with National Socialism. Based on the mateiral available this is an open and shut matter of fact.
For additional posterity, I will provide archived links below to each article being referred to here, to remove any last shred of doubt without requiring you to provide traffic to their website. The archived links, however, will only show the pages in Italian. However, it should be evident that these are the same pages contained within the screenshots.
Whenever Satanism is covered in the press, the focus is usually on the representations of atheistic Satanism, usually consisting of the Church of Satan, The Satanic Temple, and/or the Global Order of Satan. This is a very problematic phenomenon, one that typically leaves out theistic and esoteric expressions of Satanism, both historical and modern, to service the presentation of Satanism as an edgy but ultimately palatable form of humanism. I see that Vice recently published an article that, on the surface, would seem to buck that trend. But, in doing so, even they do not tell the whole truth, and this is a problem.
The article, written by Camilla Sernagiotto and originally published in Vice Italy, discusses a Theistic Satanist organisation that refers to themselves as the Union of Italian Satanists (or, Unione Satanisti Italiani), and consists of an interview with Jennifer Crepuscolo, the apparent founder of the USI, and a number of other Satanists who are members.
Sernagiotto’s article ostensibly gives us a basic overview of the beliefs of the Union of Italian Satanists. The USI purports to believe in what they call “Traditional Satanism”, or rather “Original Satanism” (or “Satanismo Originale”). In this system, Satan is regarded as a real and ancient deity, who was later turned into a demon by God. We are told that USI’s “Original Satanism” also worships a Mother Goddess as a central deity, a “dark and shining feminine figure that is widely stigmatized by patriarchal religions”. They also seem to believe that Satan and the Mother Goddess descended to Earth in order to impart knowledge to humans, then had sex with some humans and created a line of descendants referred to as “Satanids”. USI members often refer to themselves as “Satanids”, they believe themselves to be actually biologically descended from Satan and, thus, capable of accessing divine knowledge through “genetic memory” contained in their blood. Of course, the USI rejects the notion of Satan as corresponding to the Devil in the Biblical/Christian imaginary, but instead see him as a distinct primordial deity of knowledge and the human soul.
So far we’re already getting into vaguely familiar territory. There are sentiments among members that sound familiar enough to garden variety Satanism, theistic or atheistic, such as the belief in self-ownership, egoistic spiritual independence, the notion of Satan as a being who is distinct from Christian myth, a rejection of animal sacrifice and respect for nature. The doctrine of the “Satanids”, however, bears a suspicious similarity to the concept of the “serpent seed”. The “serpent seed” doctrine is a Christian idea which holds that Eve had sex with the serpent in the Garden of Eden and consequently gave birth to Cain, and in turned created a entire racial lineage descended from the serpent and therefore genetically and fatalistically inclined towards evil and destined for eternal damnation, as contrasted with the line descended from Adam who could earn eternal life in heaven. It’s an idea that has some antecedents in early Christianity or more specifically the “Gnostic” sects, but its modern form is the specific product of white supremacist movements and preachers who wanted to present Jews as the product of the “serpent seed” and therefore evil. Of course, here being part of the serpent’s line is in this case not to be seen as evil (indeed far from it!), but it’s still sort of the same idea: Satan has sex with humans and spawns a distinct racial line genetically aligned with his will and knowledge. On their website, as we’ll soon explore, they even apparently use the term “the satanic race” in a positive sense.
This is basically what Sernagiotto’s article discusses so far, but that is not all there is to it. They have a website, which the article handily links to. But that website also reveals some deeply troubling ideas that, for some reason, Sernagiotto did not see fit to discuss in her article and its interviews with USI members.
There’s a lot to unpack, and keep in mind that we’re going off of the available translation. From the website we learn that the Union of Italian Satanists was founded on August 11th 2010 with the intention of presenting its own take on Satanism to the public. The organisation was founded by Jennifer Crepuscolo (who also goes by “Jennifer Twilight”), but the webstie also features other authors such as Mandy Lord, Kate Ecdysis, Paola Difilla, and Khaibit, to name just a few who are listed on the “USI Authors” page. They insist that they are not “Judeo-Christian”, not rationalist, not atheists, not Freemasons (weird that they felt the need to point that out), and not “anything that we do not openly declare”. Their main purpose is to bring together the “Family of Satan” by spreading a doctrine that they call “Original Satanism”.
There are many contours to this concept of “Original Satanism”. It positions Satan as the “God of Origins”, the god of choice and self-determination, the Sophia and Lucifer of the initiatory path of self-knowledge, the “root and essence” behind countless other cults and traditions, the originary truth hidden behind every alteration imposed upon it by successive generations under the influence of “Yahwehism”. The USI’s doctrine holds that reality is an illusion, a virtual form constructed around us as a way for humans to receive meaning, and beneath this illusion is the essence represented by Satan. It’s for this reason that the USI considers that Satan can be approached through a multitude of forms, and that it would be too static to approach him as just one. For example, the USI considers Enki and Odin to be Sumerian and Norse aspects of Satan repsectively. The same goes for traditions, on the basis that Satanism is a evolution and dynamism that nonetheless proceeds from roots; one could choose to interpret this as presenting Satanism as a “living tradition”. According to USI doctrine, Satan is not evil, the Devil or a servant of Yahweh, and is instead “the God of the Soul”, the guardian of the thresholds and of wisdom, and even Existence itself, even beyond this life. This Satan is also sometimes identified with Lucifer, to the extent that USI members occasionally call themselves “Heirs of the Morning Star”. The Fallen are counted as divine ancestors who descended to the Earth to give knowledge to humans and then created a line of humans who carry “the divine seed” through procreation. USI members also believe that the primary purpose of magic is to fully retrieve the memory of that “divine” seed in the soul.
The USI espouses something called “Natural Ethics” as the ethical basis of their version of Satanism. “Natural Ethics” is basically a form of ethics that is supposed to emerge spontaneously from the person, and in turn links them to their divine ancestors and the “natural order” of the universe. Mind you, this “Natural Ethics” seems to be based on the concept of “genetic memory”. “Morality” (or rather “Imposed Morality”) on the other hand is an anti-spontaneous code of behaviour that the USI opposes because they think it leads to involution and separation from the natural order. The USI apparently does believe that “good” and “evil” exist but they’re defined as follows: “good” means what is in harmony with “the natural order”, allows or supports its maintenance and perpetuity, and facilitates the evolution and existence of life as a continuum, whereas “evil” means that which is not in harmony with “the natural order”, hinders and attacks this order, causes “involution”, hinders evolution, and supports non-existence. The USI also espouses nine points dubbed “The Nine Values of Satanic Ethics”. These are “Completeness” (meaning to “complete yourself” by acheiving a unity of opposites), “Beauty” (meaning inner and outer self-care in pursuit of the perfection of form), “Honor” (meaning to “keep one’s memory alive” or to live in harmony with your own nature or ethos), “Truth” (sort of self-explanatory I think), “Justice” (neither good nor bad, seemingly just upholding “the natural order”), “Freedom” (here meaning self-control, self-sufficiency, and the soteriological possibility of “really being ourselves”), “Wisdom”, “Pathos”, and “Identity” (meaning to uphold the identity of “the People of Satan”).
The USI tend to be very strict with the term Satanism, and uses the term “Acid” or “Acidism” to refer to really anyone who commits generically “evil”, “immoral”, or “criminal” acts, particularly if they do so while presenting ostensibly “satanic” imagery. This is essentially their term for what has conventionally been dubbed the “Reverse Christian”. These “Acids” are regarded as non-Satanists, entirely the product of “Judeo-Christian” society, who are simply either anti-Christian and nothing else or “bad Christians”. They also use the term “Hipster Satanist” for people who they think are not Satanists and simply call themselves and dress as Satanists for the purpose of transgression. Bear in mind, though, that in their eyes, being a “real” Satanist means worshipping Satan as they define him – that is, not The Devil, but their own god of truth and origin, the father of the so-called “Satanids”. By their standard, that could amount to many Satanists. Satanism to the USI is simply the “Cult of Origins”, a supposedly authentic form of the religious values of the so-called “golden age”, and the self-styled mission of the USI is the “restoration” of their cult.
The USI also seems to be polytheistic in that they recognise and venerate numerous deities besides Satan, which includes both pre-Christian deities and demons from Christian demonology. The website lists Lucifer, Samael, Bast, Sekhmet, Haagenti, Maat, Andras, Bifrons, Buer, Asmodeus, Hel, Abigor, Agares, Aini, Amon, Anubis, Beelzebub (here identified with Baal and Bael), Belphegor, Bune, Dantalian, Decarabia, Foras, Gaap, Glasya Labolas, Haagenti, Halphas, Khepu, Lucifuge Rofocale, Marchosias, Nergal, Ronove, Set, Sorath, Volac as the many gods worshipped, at least individually, within the USI. It also has a section focused on various gods of war (also dubbed “protectors of life”), and discusses a whole list of war gods including Ogma, Set, Anhur, Sekhmet, Neith, Sobek, Horus, Pakhet, Wepwawet, Montu, Menher, Maahet, Satis, Sopdu, Mars, Ninurta, Mixcoatl, Xipe Totec, Huitzilopochtli, Shay Al Qawm, Athtar, Hubal, al-Uzza, Minerva, Morrigan, Ishtar/Inanna, Tyr, Durga, Indra, Ogun, Shango, Sobo, and Hachiman, while also listing Baal, Azazel, Glasya Labolas, Halphas, Volac, and Andras as “Demons of War”.
The USI also seems to have to some fairly peculiar thoughts on the subject of aliens, as suggested by the fact that they have an article discussing the notion that the gods are aliens. The short answer, in their opinion, is yes and no. They sort of argue that it doesn’t really matter if the gods are aliens or not since either way they would be extradimensional beings, also insisting that the gods manifested on Earth biologically while taking every opportunity to assert the categorical rejection of atheism. That said they do regard the appeal to the extraterrestrial as an attempt by humans to “control” the gods, who otherwise cannot be controlled, through scientific rationalism. For USI members, “alien” is a word that can also refer to creatures from other dimensions, not just extraterrestrial but also “otherworldly”, and they do ultimately describe the gods and Satan this way too, so the lines between terms are ultimately blurred. As far as the USI is concerned, the divine beings may or may not be basically ancient astronauts.
More importantly, however, the USI also seems to be really antisemitic, and they can arguably be described as neo-Nazis. Their page on “Original Satanism” describes many people as being “slaves of the Jewish preconception” of Satan, while also attacking Jewish mysticism as blasphemous (yes I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on anyone here). They hit out at other Satanist movements by accusing them of “Judaizing” Satanism, which to them means making it “more plebeian” and atheistic; the idea that atheism is a product of Jewish influence is of course both inherently antisemitic one of the basic talking points of Nazi ideology. Their article on “Satanid Nature” asserts that they made their pact with Yahweh because they wanted nothing but power over and revenge (funny how now revenge is a bad thing!) on other lands and are in turn responsible for destroying “a world full of traditions and values” and “the birth of a progressive decline”. The same article negatively compares them to Jesus by stressing that Jesus refused the temptations of Satan (again, you would think that Satanists would prefer that Jesus not be the Messiah) whereas Moses allowed Yahweh to “corrupt” them. The article “The Way of Signs” features an image of a shining Nazi Sonnenrad alongside a discussion of the so-called “Black Sun” versus the “White Sun”. The USI rejects the popular notion of a “pact with Satan”, specifically because they believe it to actually be “the pact between the Jews and Yahweh”, which they deem to be “spiritual opportunism”.
Another almost baffling example of USI’s antisemitism is that the page about Lucifer appears to almost dismiss a source because it is ostensibly Jewish, and then presents quotations from Otto Rahn, a literal SS officer and Nazi Ariosophist ideologue, and Miguel Serrano, one of the major original proponents of Esoteric Hitlerism, as part of its discussion of the nature of Lucifer. They even argue that Christianity in its current state is “totally Judaized” and that the original Christianity was strictly “Gentile”, based on the “physiognomy” and philosophy of Jesus. This is literally just Nazi ideology, in that the Nazis argued for a Christianity that they felt be fully divested of supposed “Jewish influences”, thus an “Aryan” faith, based in turn on volkisch Protestant nationalist ideas that had already circulated in Germany during the early 20th century. More to the point it’s incredibly bizarre for self-described Satanists to be concerned with Christianity being “too Jewish” or having fallen away from some supposed origin, when the church of any stripe is still the church to us!
As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the USI has its own version of Nazi “de-Judaization”, at least as concerns the very etymology of Satan. You see, in order to prove that Satanism is not “Judeo-Christian” and is “pure” “Gentile” religion, they have to show that Satan is not a Jewish concept (as opposed to, you know, not being Nazis and not being interested in “de-Judaizing” everything). As opposed to the Hebraic origins of the name Satan, the Hebrew word “satan” or “ha-Satan” meaning “adversary”, the USI proposes a supposed Sanskrit origin for the name Satan. They claim that the Sanskrit word “Sat”, ostensibly meaning “truth”, and a supposed Indian mantra “Sat Nam”, supposedly meaning “whose name is truth”, or alternatively the words “Sanat” (meaning “eternal”) or “Sat Ana” (supposedly meaning “acting in the truth”), as the true etymology of Satan. There is of course no evidence of any correspondence between these Sanskrit terms and Satan or any figure or concept like Satan. In fact, I suspect that this idea is the brainchild of Kerry R. Bolton, a white supremacist esoteric fascist who set up several fascist occult and pagan groups before ultimately converting to Christianity. Not to mention, the fact that I only ever seem to see this idea espoused by Nazi Satanists tells me that the idea of Satan having a Sanskrit rather than Hebrew origin suggests a various obvious attempt to portray Satan as a fully “Aryan” concept.
And speaking of Nazism, there is a page of the USI’s website that implies the group’s possible ideological support for Nazism. In an article billed as an analysis of Joy of Satan, Jennifer appears to defend National Socialism by saying that “National Socialism has effectively been portrayed as the greatest evil in the world without however ever saying its positive aspects, much less telling how even Communism has shed blood and totalitarianism, indeed maybe more”. Ostensibly this takes the form of some argument about how all ideologies are violent and therefore none are sacred, which would still not merit any equivalence or defense of Nazism by any stretch, but then Jennifer goes on to say that she “learned about the ethics that moved the original ideology”, as well as “esoteric studies” and “the spirituality itself that distinguished our Aryan ancestors”. These suggest a clear ideological sympathy for Nazism. If I’m being honest, the fact that, in a separate article, the USI characterizes Jesus as a “personification of the Gentile spirit” modelled on the basis of pre-Christian gods and “pagan” heroism only further demonstrates that it is based on Nazi ideology . After all, the Nazis frequently insisted that Jesus was originally an “Aryan” German deity named Krist, while Adolf Hitler himself lionized Jesus as an embodiment of “Aryan” virtues. The USI similarly claims that there is a “real” Kabbalah (that is, an “Aryan Kabbalah”) that originated in ancient Egypt, was supposedly derived from a phrase “Ka Ba Ankh”, was violently suppressed by “Judeo-Christians”, and supposedly could be recovered by Satanists with the help of demons. In essence this is basically the same basic idea that the volkisch occultist Guido Von List (who did inspire the Nazis) had, except that List believed that Kabbalah was created by ancient Germans.
A major theme of USI doctrine is a supposed conflict between “Yahweism” and “the religion of the Gentiles”. This is of course forgetting for a moment that the “Gentiles” in Rome were really all too happy to embrace Christianity once it became part of the existing cultural and political spiral of proto-whiteness, or at least politically expedient for the ruling classes of European or “Gentile” nations. The subjugation of Satan by Saint Michael is thus interpreted as the subjugation of “Gentile religions” by “the Yahwehists”. They consider the awakening of “Gentile Memory” (which, if you’ll remember, is supposed to contained in the blood of the Satanids, which is supposed to be USI members!) to be a return to the origin of the soul of the Satanid, as the biological descendant of Satan, so as to deify themselves and “restore” their identity as a “spiritual race” – or, “the satanic race”. The fact that the USI repeatedly uses the word “Gentile” implores us to remember that “Gentile” is supposed to be a word used to refer to non-Jews. On this basis, using the word “Gentile” to refer to yourself, your religion, and your “racial memory” and contrasting it with “Yahwehism” or “Judeo-Christianity” is a clear statement of religious, spiritual, and ontological antisemitism. For fuck’s sake there’s an article in which Jennifer distinguishes Satanists from Pagans by saying that Pagans are the “civilians” and Satanists are a kind of military force fighting against “the Judeo-Christian regime guilty of having contaminated our ancient traditions”. Not only is that classically antisemitic, it’s essentially just the original Christian distinction between the Christian as “Milites Christi” (literally soliders of Christ!) and pagans as “civilians”.
Based on all of this, there are times when I question even the very validity of the USI’s self-designation as “Satanist”. The “Satan” they worship may share characteristics with prevailing ideas about Satan within Satanism, but can be understood as essentially their own “god of the Gentiles”, strictly separated from the idea of Satan as The Devil or The Adversary (which for the record is still typically honoured within Satanism) and representative of an originary “Gentile” religion. Jesus is lauded for refusing the temptations of Satan because to them the Biblical Satan is not Satan, but rather a “Judeo-Christian” construction meant to serve as God’s shadow, while the “real” Satan is basically the “Aryan” supreme deity and Jesus is one of the various “Aryan” gods. Everything about the USI’s doctrine is tied together by what is essentially a neo-Nazi ideology in which members believe that they are racially linked to Satan and are therefore biological representatives of ancient “Gentile”/”Aryan” religion. We can also see that the white supremacist concept of the “serpent seed”, originally created to demonize Jewish people, is basically reimagined by the USI as the lineage of the “god of the Gentiles” and thus the “Aryan race”. When USI members reject conversion on the grounds that “you are either a Satanist by nature or you will never be a Satanist”, what they mean is that you can’t be converted to Satanism because you have be born a “Satanid”, because their version of “Satanism” is basically an ethnic religion for “Gentiles” (“Aryans”).
It should thus also come as probably no surprise at all that the Union of Italian Satanists has also had a history with Joy of Satan, another notoriously antisemitic spin on Theistic Satanism in which Satan is believed to be Enki and worshipped as the god of the “Gentiles”. In fact, they even cited JoS leader Maxine Dietrich in their article arguing for the name Satan being Sanskrit rather than Hebrew in origin. There is a whole article written by Jennifer “Twilight” Crepuscolo (who we must remember is the founder and leader of the USI) about the Joy of Satan, in which a significant degree of praise is mixed with criticism. Jennifer wrote that she always admired the “passion”, “frankness”, “simplicity”, and “courage” of Joy of Satan, and praised them for allegedly coining the definition of “Spiritual Satanism” and thus supposedly slapping Satanists away from the materialism of atheistic currents such as LaVeyan Satanism, while also criticizing the organisation for its perceived dogmatism, angry young membership, and an obsession with having sex with demons and (ironically enough) antisemitism. I say ironically because the USI itself is a pro-Nazi antisemitic organisation that makes arguments based on Nazi ideology and cites Nazi authors, so really their only objection to JoS’ antisemitism is that they’re too loud and too virulent about it – nothing but a matter of taste, and I suppose the fact that JoS members like to call Jennifer things like “filthy Jewish whore” for not being sufficiently antisemitic. In fact, just to highlight USI’s antisemitism once again, there is an article on their website discussing the so-called Illuminati, which uses quotes from the Talmud to argue that Jews hate “Gentiles” and features a meme of a man wearing a shirt saying “I love shiksas”, so as to emphasize a supposed xenophobic misogyny in Jewish men (“shiksa” is apparently a disparaging word for non-Jewish women, which the USI article insists is an object of sexual fantasy). For a group that insists that JoS spends too much time hating on Jews, they seem awfully eager to do it themselves. By the way, that same article defends Roman colonialism while emphasizing that the colonization and enslavement of Africans was done by “Judeo-Christian” people and that the former was good and the latter bad.
OK, I think we’ve seen about enough. That website obviously has far too much content for the Sernagiotto’s article to cover fully in its intended scope, but I reckon that Sernagiotto could have at least visited the website once and asked questions about, among other things, the USI members’ opinions about Jews, National Socialism, and what the USI website says about those subjects. That she did not cover this at all is a serious omission, because all this stuff about “Gentiles” versus “Judeo-Christians” is core part of the USI’s worldview, not just an incidental oart of the beliefs of some individual members. The only problem there is that perhaps they might not have answered. I attempted to ask Jennifer Crepuscolo about the USI’s support for Nazism as she was responding to QueerSatanic, but she has not responded.
Let me clear about a few things, I want there to be more positive coverage of Theistic Satanism. I’m tired of glorified humanist think tanks and the Church of Satan, or just this narrative that “Satanism isn’t about worshipping Satan”, getting all the limelight whenever the press wants to talk about Satanism to the normies or what have you. What I do not want is for this to mean that neo-Nazis get to have puff pieces wrriten for them by people who don’t ever do the research they’re supposed to. And make no mistake: the Nazism is the main issue. It’s not their theism, it’s not necessarily their beliefs about aliens (though that subject has some problematic contours on its own), its primarily the fact that they uphold repackagings of Nazi and white supremacist ideology that they use as the basis for their broader worldview, and the fact that their founder and apparent leader seems to support National Socialism.
You are all probably all too familiar with the creeping presence of esoteric fascism and folkism within alternative religious communities and subcultures, and how frequently this is used by outsiders to attack our validity. You probably also have some idea about the problem of NSBM in the black metal scene, and if you’ve been reading this blog lately it’s a problem I’ve been giving a lot of focus to in recent years. Our communities have a great need to fight this problem, and to do so, we must challenge a very pernicious myth about the Nazis: namely, the myth that the Nazis were anti-Christian Pagans. It seems to me that this myth is at the root of the phenomenon of certain esoteric Nazi or fascist enterprises as well as the spread of neo-Nazi folkist Paganism and the idea of NSBM. To give an example of what I mean, remember that there are Nazi black metal musicians, such as Anthony Mignoni from the band Seigneur Voland, who praised Adolf Hitler for his supposed “will to found a neo-pagan empire in Europe”. And do I really have to say anything about Varg Vikernes alone? What I’m trying to say is that a lot of all this comes from a residual mythology that casts the Nazis as Pagans looking to overturn the Christian world order, and this mythology serves as a way for Nazis to try and exploit certain themes within Paganism, occultism, and the Left Hand Path for their own purposes. But, as you will see, the whole idea that the Nazis were esoteric Pagans is a lie.
If there is one thing that I think dispels the idea of Nazism being Pagan more than anything else, it would probably be the opinion of none other than Adolf Hitler on the subject of Pagan revivals. It is popularly claimed that Hitler extolled the value of Christianity in public, while also denouncing Christianity as a religion based on weakness even as he praised Jesus as some sort of honorary Aryan, and that the Nazis were some sort of almost uniquely anti-Christian powerhouse (I say “almost uniquely”, given that the other 20th century anti-Christian powerhouse commonly referred to is the Soviet Union). The presence of volkisch ideology and the pretences to Germanic paganism within the Third Reich, combined with Hitler’s supposed disdain for both Christianity and atheism, has led some to believe that he was some sort of avatar for the revival of Paganism, as has been the contention of Christian intellectuals and commentators. Carl Jung’s essay on “Wotan” as an archetype of wild ethno-nationalist frenzy and irrationalism has been influential in generating a supposed link between Germanic neopaganism and Nazism, and meanwhile a whole generation of pretentious Christian intellectuals have further poisoned the well with their own nonsensical pronouncements on the subject. But what did Hitler actually think of Paganism of any sort, and what was the actual religious alignment of Nazism as a whole?
In his Table Talks, Hitler described the re-establishment of the worship of pre-Christian Germanic deities as “foolish” and said that the old pre-Christian mythology “ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself”. In other words, Hitler considered Christianity to be superior to Paganism, which is on its own all the confirmation you need at least that Hitler wasn’t a Pagan. But, there’s more. In Hitler: Memoirs of a Confident, which was published by Otto Wagener in 1985, Wagener recounted that Hans Schemm, an esteemed Nazi educator and Gauleiter (regional leader), expressed his frustration at people who espoused “a lot of nonsense talked about blond men, about the Nordic race, about the cult of Wotan and the spirit of the Edda”, likely referring to certain neopagan elements of the Nazis, accused them of creating inferiority complexes and inspiring hatred among non-blond Germans and from there promoting division between Germanic and non-Germanic peoples (the irony of this coming from a Nazi officer has to have been lost on both Schemm and Hitler). Hitler interrupted by saying that he expressly and repeatedly forbade expressions of neopaganism within the NSDAP, mocking what he dubbed “All that rubbish about the Thing places, the solstice festivals, the Midgard snake, and all the rest of the rubbish they dredge up from the German prehistory!”. After this, Schemm further denounced the “solstice festivals” he heard about as being propagandistic rather than atavistic and jeopardizing the “Volk community”, Hitler then agreed and asserted that “We Germans in particular must avoid anything that works to create even more divisiveness”. Wagener recounted that he feared that the “Old Germanic Festivals” were increasingly reshaping the mission of the Hitler Youth somehow. Hitler apparently also stated that he had no issue with Christmas, instead objecting to the association of Christmas with pre-Christian nature worship, and asserted that he did not want to rob the Christian church of its holy day, though he then ultimately told his advisors not to worry about the festivals, claiming that he thought that whatever brought the Hilter Youth closer to “the godhead” was good and that whatever separated them from it, “even if it was a Catholic priest”, was bad.
Keep in mind that Schemm was very much a Christian, and in fact his notable slogan was “Our religion is Christ, our politics Fatherland!”, clearly suggesting his belief that Nazism was a Christian ideology. If Hitler and the NSDAP were such militant neopagans that would exclude or even liquidate Christianity from their Third Reich, Hans Schemm would probably not have the official status he did within the NSDAP. Instead, in reality, the Nazis honored Schemm after his death in 1935 by naming entire schools and streets after him, and he was evidently important enough for the Nazis that Hitler personally ordered a surgeon to fly to Bayreuth in an attempt to save him from the injuries that Schemm received in the plane crash that killed him. As it turns out, for a supposed anti-Christian, Hitler seemed to value certain Christian officers while ridiculing his more “neopagan” subordinates.
The Nazis are fairly notorious for their seeming and widely mythologized interest in the occult, even despite the fact that the Nazis, when they entered power, criminalized even volkisch mystic organizations. The reputation of the Nazis as occult obsessives can be traced in large part to Heinrich Himmler, the Waffen SS commander who was known for an interest in esotericism and self-declared non-Christian status. Himmler, however, was not much of a Pagan, if it could even be said that he was a Pagan at all. He had an interest in incorporating solstice celebrations into the SS, but this same SS was modelled on the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits, which tells me that he was simply layering ostensible Pagan custom onto what was ultimately an organization inspired by Christianity. Apparently he sought to challenge the customs of Christianity on the grounds of his own synthetic occult belief system, but there is no evidence that he ever worshipped any pre-Christian gods or that he was a polytheist, animist, nature-worshipper, or anything usually defined as part of the spectrum of Pagan religiosity. Himmler was quite explicit in saying that being in the SS means to believe in “a God Almighty who stands above us” and accepting the doctrine that God created the earth, the “Fatherland”, and its “volk”, and that he sent Adolf Hitler to earth, and further insisted that anyone who did not believe in God was unsuitable for SS membership and should be considered “arrogant, megalomaniacal, and stupid”, all of which is more consistent with a very volkisch interpretation of Christianity than any concept of Paganism. Himmler may have formally left Christianity or at least the Christian church, but he still believed in some religious premises that were rather close to Christian doctrine. If we are to take his apparent non-Christian status seriously, you could say he ascribed to a kind of Latent Christianity.
Some within the SS seem to have sought after the existence of a “true Christianity”, which they believed to have originated in Atlantis, which they believe was inhabited by “Aryans” who practiced monotheism. Himmler is also known for establishing the Ahnenerbe, a branch of the SS dedicated to exploring parts of the world in search of esoteric secrets that would “prove” the superiority and lineage of the “Aryan race”. But Hitler himself had no interest in these expeditions, and if anything he mocked them, lamenting that under Himmler’s watch “we might as well have just stayed in the Church”. In fact, for a German volkisch nationalist, Hitler really didn’t seem to appreciate Germany’s past. He denounced ancient Germans for “living in mud huts” while their Roman counterparts were “erecting great buildings”, and derided Himmler for apparently digging up ancient Germanic villages to reveal a past that Hitler considered embarrassing because he considered it inferior to Greece and Rome, who he thought had “already reached the highest stage of culture”.
Furthermore, the supposedly “Pagan” National Socialists declared from the beginning that they saw themselves as a Christian movement and not a Pagan one. In the NSDAP Party Program of 1920, the Nazis emphatically stated in Point 24 that their party represented “positive Christianity”, while of course claiming to demand freedom for all religious confessions; at least, so long as they “do not endanger its [the state’s] existence of conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race”. The Nazis chose “positive Christianity”, effectively a volkisch interpretation of Christianity, as a representative of the “customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race” (Germans at that time consisted mostly of Christians), and as a vehicle through which to oppose “Jewish materialism”. “Positive Christianity” can be thought of as a highly revisionist form of Christianity (which, don’t get confused, is still a form of Christianity; we’re not doing the “No True Christians” fallacy here) meant to present a “true” or more authentically “Aryan” form of Christianity. This meant removing any trace of Jewish influence, including much of the Old Testament, from Christianity, recasting Jesus Christ as an “Aryan” warrior instead of King of the Jews, and reframing the Christian conception of the struggle of Good versus Evil as a struggle being “Aryan” light and “Semitic” darkness, thus pitting Germans and Jews against each other in a racialist holy war. Many Christians in Germany, far from being repelled by Nazism, actually embraced Nazism and its “Positive Christianity” as an affirmation of Christian values against secular uncertainty, and although some churches opposed Nazism (these were grouped together as the “Confessing Church”) and faced persecution because of it, many other churches, clergymen, and ordinary Christians remained complicit with the Nazi regime, and after the fall of Nazi Germany, Christianity in Germany struggled with the silence they demonstrated during this period.
Several Nazis held to the idea of “Positive Christianity” in some form. Artur Dinter, the Gauleiter of Gau Thuringia, formed a religious organization called the “Spiritual Christian Religion Community” (later renamed the “German People’s Church”) in 1927, which sought to divest Christianity of its Jewish influences and establish National Socialism as an expressly religious movement dedicated to Christianity. Dinter and Hilter did oppose each other, but this is because Dinter’s goals conflicted with Hitler’s own plans to present the NSDAP as neutral on religion. Dinter did not believe that Jesus was a mere political centerfold, rather he indeed believed in the doctrine of Jesus as the only incarnated spirit who never “misused his free will to sin”. He also opposed the Old Testament because it was “too materialistic”, and believed that its expurgation would reveal the “true” teachings of Jesus. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi arch-propagandist, was also a religious Christian. Goebbels believed that the idealized “struggle” against Jews upheld by Nazism was also a struggle between God and the Devil, he considered God to be on the side of Adolf Hitler, he believed that God was absolute and that nothing existed outside of God, he loved the New Testament and read the Sermon of the Mount every evening, and he even believed himself to have conversed with Jesus Christ. True, he did have anti-clericalist tendencies, but this is only to the extent that he thought Christianity was in need of renewal and that its churches and “false priests” have failed. Dietrich Klagges, a prominent Nazi educator and friend of Goebbels, emphasized the divinity of Jesus and wrote a whole book expounding what he believed to be the meaning of the Gospel. Walter Buch, one of the most powerful officials in the Nazi Party, likened the aims of Nazism to the struggle of Jesus, and upheld Point 24 of the 1920 NSDAP Party Program as “the cornerstone of our thinking”, thus he seemed to affirm Positive Christianity as the core religious ideology of Nazism.
Adolf Hitler himself can ultimately be characterized as a volkisch Christian, despite all common assertion to the contrary. For one thing, Hitler believed in Jesus Christ, just that he believed Jesus was an “Aryan” instead of Jewish. Indeed, Hitler proclaimed Jesus to be “the true God” and “our greatest Aryan leader”, and declared that the “true message of Christianity” could only be found in Nazism. For another thing, Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that it was the duty of the “folkish-minded man” to fulfill “God’s will” and not let it be desecrated, on the grounds that it “gave men their form, their essence and their abilities”, and he proclaimed that anyone who “destroys His work” is “declaring war” on God’s will and creation. Hitler also referenced the myth of the Garden of Eden by stating that “Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise”. He believed that Jews were “alien” to “true Christianity” because of their supposed materialism, and considered violence against Jewish people to be “fighting for the work of the Lord”. In 1919, Hitler wrote an unpublished tract in which he advocated for the “purification of the Bible”, that is to say the expunging of the Old Testament from the Bible, which was not only a cornerstone of revisionist Nazi Christianity but also an idea held by nationalist and volkisch Protestant theologians such as Adolf van Harnack before the NSDAP was even born.
Thus, Hitler, like many of the rest of his Nazi compatriots, was a volkisch Christian, one who believed in a “true” Christianity that he thought was obfuscated by the Old Testament, and thus wanted to get rid of everything about Christianity that he thought was too Jewish to represent the teachings of Jesus. And let’s make no bones about it, it’s an absurdly revisionist take on Christianity, it almost certainly seems heretical when put next to the more mainstream forms of Christianity, and its premises stem less from scripture and more from the racist volkisch mysticism that sprung up in Germany in the 19th and early 20th century, but it was nonetheless a form of Christianity, and particularly a representation of volkisch, nationalist Protestanism. It has often been claimed that Hitler was an atheist, but this is without basis as has already been discussed. He may certainly have thought of himself as anti-mystical and anti-clericalist, but when you consider that he believed himself to be an exponent of “true Christianity”, that is to say an “authentic” and “Aryan” Christianity not represented by the churches, then his opposition to the Church could be seen to have more or less the same basis as Goebbels’ Christian anti-clericalism. Hitler hated the Catholic Church, for instance, because of what he believed to be its “elaborate Jewish rites”, suggesting his belief that Roman Catholicism was a Jewish revision of Christianity.
There’s nothing about any of this that could be classed as “Pagan” except from the standpoint of Christians who will deem anything they don’t like to be “Pagan”, and none of it is without precedent in Christianity. For starters, the idea of Roman Catholicism as a “Jewish” religion is lifted straight from Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who claimed that the Roman Catholic Church preached a “Judaized” form of Christianity that had no resemblance to the supposed “true Christianity”, which he believed was established by an “Aryan” Jesus Christ, and that the Catholic Church did this as part of a conspiracy to destroy the “Aryan race”. Hardly a Pagan thing to long for the re-establishment of “True Christianity”. There’s also a very ancient precedent that to the Nazi enterprise of “de-Judaizing” Christianity in Marcion, a Christian who argued that the God of the Old Testament was actually an evil and false deity whose punitive nature stood opposed to the “true” God of the New Testament who represented love. And of course, it is impossible to overlook the influence of Martin Luther, the anti-semitic father of the Protestant Reformation, in shaping Nazi ideology. In fact, the Nazis themselves took Luther’s infamous tract On The Jews And Their Lies and displayed it prominently wherever they could, and repeatedly expressed their affinity for Luther’s anti-semitism, even comparing Hitler himself to Luther and hoping to “witness his [Luther’s] reappearance”. So what we get in terms of the religious underpinnings of Nazism is, in all reality, a form of Protestant Christianity that carries on the basic premise of Marcionite Christianity while recodyifing that in terms of struggle between two races as opposed to dualism between two versions of God, and all filtered through the revisionist volkisch ideology that was contemporary to the Nazi movement.
There’s also the matter of Hitler’s beliefs concerning the afterlife. Hitler apparently rejected Hell, denounced it as a barbaric doctrine, and instead subscribed to an annihilationist perspective in which those who would be damned to Hell would instead simply fade into oblivion. But this annihilationism is not some “Pagan” idea, and in fact it is a development of Christian theology whose supporters base their claims on Biblical scripture, and it is not without supporters among modern Christians. Moreover, annihilationism itself seems to go all the way back to early church fathers such as Tertullian. Meanwhile, Hitler does appear to have believed in some concept of Heaven, and at least nowhere in Mein Kampf or anywhere else do we see any sign of Hitler rejecting the idea of a heavenly afterlife. There also doesn’t seem to be any major evidence that Hitler rejected the belief in an immortal soul, despite what certain historians appear to have thought.
It is popularly assumed that Hitler actually hated Christianity behind closed doors, and that he wanted people to choose between being German and being Christian on the grounds that he supposedly thought they could not be both. The problem with this should be obvious. If Hitler seriously thought that you had to choose between being German and being Christian, while favouring the former over the latter, he would have at least required members of his Nazi Party to renounce Christianity before becoming members. But this is clearly not the case, as many Nazi officers, including the most powerful, were expressly religious (albeit volkisch) Christians. Moreover, Hitler would have to have required all of Germany’s Christian population to renounce Christianity in order to prove their loyalty to the German state. But this doesn’t seem to have happened either. And Hitler, as the one man who had the absolute power override all decisions and impose his own without objection, could conceivably have turned Germany into either a volkisch neopagan state or a state atheist regime (like the Soviet Union and other Marxist-Leninist countries) through sheer imposition of his dictatorial will via the Fuhrerprinzip alone. But the only Christian churches Hitler persecuted were those who publicly criticized Hitler and refused to comply with the Nazi state. Every other chruch was allowed to exist through their complicity with the Nazi state, and the majority of Nazi German citizens were some form of Christian, suggesting that the Nazi state did not seek to eradicate Christianity and replace it with some form of “Paganism”, since otherwise the Nazis would have just ordered the mass deconversion of Germany’s Christian population. The one source for the claim that Hitler was privately anti-Christian is Hitler Speaks by Hermann Rauschning, which is considered dubious scholarship and even outright fraudulent, and its author, while claiming to have had several meetings and coversations with Hitler, was only ever a Nazi Party member for two years (from 1932 to 1934) and his sole importance to the party was as administrator of the Free City of Danzig. Being a conservative reactionary, Rauschning’s primary objection to Nazism was that he believed it was a “nihilist” and anti-Christian revolution that supposedly destroyed all traditions and ceased to be nationalist, and argued for the restoration of the German monarchy as the sole alternative to Nazism.
But in any case, Hitler Speaks is not considered to be an accurate account of Hitler’s views and words. Rauschning also seems to be cited in arguments that Hitler was possessed by demons and that this explained his evil actions, so….make of that what you will! And so, it is best to reject the claim that Hitler privately hated Christianity as a concoction of Christian conservatives seeking to assert the moral inscrutability of Christianity. Furthermore, Hitler expressly denounced any enterprises that harkened back to Germany’s pre-Christian past in Mein Kampf, where he described neopagans as “the greatest cowards that can be imagined”, mocked any ideas of “old Germanic heroism” as well the “dim pre-history” of the Germanic peoples, and accused neopagans of running away from “every Communist blackjack” while preaching struggle at the same time. So Hitler was pro-Christian, albeit in a very revisionist way, and anti-Pagan.
There is one important detail we should note, however. Hitler seems to have insisted that the Nazi Party, as a political apparatus, should not specifically be a formal religious movement, This meant Hitler sometimes conflicted even with devout Christians in his movement, such as Artur Dinter, since they wanted the Party to be a more avowedly religious movement. It is easy to come away thinking that Hitler meant his movement to be an entirely secular one because of this, but since the NSDAP Party Program explicitly stated a commitment to “Positive Christianity”, this is likely not the case. And besides, the Republican Party in the United States of America is not, in the strict sense, a religious movement in the sense that Artur Dinter would have wanted the NSDAP to be, yet it clearly operates along the lines of religious politics, in that it premises its political ideology on the perceived rightful governance of America by a Christian moral order. In fact, the whole concept of opposing certain churches because of their “foreign” character is not unfamiliar to right-wing opposition to certain sects or religions on the grounds of their “foreign” nature in the present as is found in modern Christian nationalist movements.
The supposedly “Pagan” Nazi Germany also seems to have venerated the Christian Frankish king Charlemagne, who destroyed the sacred Irminsul and massacred thousands of Saxons in Verden as part of his campaign to make the Saxons convert to Christianity. Curiously enough, there has been division about Charlemagne within the pre-Nazi volkisch movement and even among Nazis, but Charlemagne was celebrated by the Nazi German state in the form of a huge commemoration event in 1942 to mark the 1,200th anniversary of the birth of Charlemagne. There was also a whole unit of the SS that was named after Charlemagne to honour him as a “pan-European Germanic hero”. Alfred Rosenberg opposed the veneration of Charlemange, and argued that his Saxon enemy Widukind should be honored instead of Charlemagne, but he was privately told by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels to cease his public condemnations of Charlemagne, suggesting that the Nazi leadership favored the Christian king. Of course, from Goebbels’ standpoint, it was all to remain in alignment with popular opinion, which of course favored Charlemagne. This isn’t a surprise when you understand that the majority of the population of Nazi Germany self-identified as Christians, and particularly favoured Protestant Christianity. There’s no record of anyone in Nazi Germany outside maybe a handful of Nazi officers ever supporting or practicing any form of Paganism. Furthermore, it seems that the time of the Weimar Republic was seen by many German Christians of the time as a direct assault on God’s order, due to the secularism of the Weimar government and its attendant, or at least relative, de-privileging of Protestant Christian imperatives. This sense, combined with the “war theology” embraced by nationalistic Protestant theologians, which saw God favoring Germany in an interventionist quest to “liberate humanity from materialism” and establish his order, did not require much effort to transform into a theological imperative for “Aryan Christianity” to triumph against “Jewish materialism”.
On Alfred Rosenberg, we should note that it is true that he opposed Christianity, but for an apparent supporter of “Paganism”, his actual beliefs don’t seem all that “Pagan”. He believed in a monotheistic God who created mankind and divided its constituents into a hierarchy of separated races and imbued the “Germanic Nordic Aryan” with a unique soul corresponding with the Platonic ideal of humanity. He seemingly did call for the abolition of Christianity in the sense that he wanted Nazi Germany to replace all crosses with swastikas, the Bible with Mein Kampf (which, as I’ve established before, was not a non-Christian book), and the dominon of the National Reich Church of Germany over all churches, and he did call for a “new religion of the blood”. And yet he still denounced Jews specifically for their supposed hatred of Jesus and identified them with the Antichrist. In many ways Rosenberg’s views on Jesus and Christianity were not so different from Hitler’s. He believed that Jesus was the true god of the Europeans, rejected all notion that Jesus was Jewish, and argued for the replacement of mainstream Christianity, which he deemed both false and outdated, with “Positive Christianity”. He viewed Jesus as a superhuman mediator between mankind and God and as the biggest “storm” against “Jewish nature”. At no point is Rosenberg shown to refer to multiple pre-Christian gods, or make reference to any individual pre-Christian gods, except for when he is referring to the Norse god Odin as an example of a Christian quest for the kingdom of heaven within as referred to by Jesus. At his most “anti-Christian”, Rosenberg was actually more specifically anti-Catholic in practice, and meanwhile he praised the Christianity advocated by Marcion, who argued that the God of the Old Testament was the false God and the God of the New Testament was the true God. He may have opposed the veneration of Charlemagne, but this alone is not sufficient evidence that he was a “Pagan”, and in this light even his desire to replace the symbols and text of Christianity can be seen in keeping with the contention that these were symbols of an old and “false” Christianity to be replaced by a new and “true” Christianity.
If you were a Pagan or a believer in some other alternative religion and you lived in Nazi Germany, you would probably have been prosecuted by the Nazi state, and then probably thrown into a concentration camp like what happened to Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses there. Although some Nazi officers were allowed to hold some ostensibly non-Christian views, practicing occultism or pursuing occult interests outside of the SS was not permitted. Friedrich Bernhard Marby, a German occultist who sought the revival of pre-Christian Germanic religion, was arrested by the Nazis for being an unauthorised occultist whose ideas “brought the holy Aryan heritage into disrepute and ridicule”. His colleague, Siegfried Adolf Kummer, was arrested for the same reason. From there Marby apparently spent eight years in concentration camps until his release in April 1945, while Kummer’s fate is still a mystery. Erich Ludendorff’s Tannenbergbund, a volkisch nationalist organisation which expected its members to abandon Christianity in favour of a volkisch brand of Nordic polytheism, was banned by the Nazi government in 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler took power. It’s not clear why the Tannenbergbund was banned, but I think it might have had something to do with Ludendorff having fallen out of favour with the Nazi establishment after previously having helped the Nazi Party rise to prominence. Ludendorff’s wife, Mathilde von Kemnitz, attempted to insert a new anti-Christian religion that involved polytheism and nature worship into the Nazi movement, but her efforts were rejected by Hitler, who thought she was delusional. Ludwig Klages, a philosopher who espoused his own unique and rather abstract form of Romantic neopaganism, was disliked by the Nazis and denounced by the Nazi press due to his denunciations of National Socialism, and in 1938 his writings were banned by the so-called “neopagan” Alfred Rosenberg on the grounds that they were too “hedonist” for him. The Germanic Faith Community, a Germanic Pagan revival group founded by the artist Ludwig Fahrenkrog, faced several restrictions to their freedoms when the Nazis took power; they were no longer allowed to hold public meetings, they were barred from using a swastika as their symbol, since this had now become the official symbol of the Nazi Party, and in 1934 Fahrenkrog’s paintings were forbidden from exhibition by the Ministry of Propaganda.
A major exception to this trend, of course, was the volkisch neopagan German Faith Movement, but while it did seemingly advocate for the return of polytheism and purported pre-Christian rituals, it also apparently included a syncretism of Christian rituals as well alongside non-Christian counterparts. Its founder, Jakob Hauer, hoped that his own particular brand of Hinduism-inspired occult volkisch neopaganism would be adopted as the official religion of Nazi Germany. But this never happened, and in 1936 Hauer left the movement and abdicated its leadership, though he did become a member of the NSDAP the following year. Otto Sigfrid Reuter, as an NSDAP member and volkisch ideologue honored by Nazi academic institutions, would also be an exception to the trend of neopagans being persecuted or ignored by the Nazi state. Little is known about the Indepedent Free Church, founded by Friedrich Hielscher to express a more or less polytheistic belief system built around a belief in both God and the pre-Christian Germanic gods, though it seemed to continue existing. That said, Hielscher and other Independent Free Church members, along with his church itself, were involved in the underground anti-Nazi resistance movement, for which Hielscher was arrested by the Nazis in 1944.
Turning away from the subject of Paganism in strict terms, we should note that several occult organisations were suppressed under Nazi rule. Fraternitas Saturni, the Luciferian magical order that broke away from Ordo Templi Orientis, was banned by the Nazi government in 1936, and its leader Eugen Grosche was arrested and bound for a concentration camp, before an apparently sympathetic officer helped him get released and get out of Germany. Ordo Templi Orientis itself was banned by the Nazi government, and so were Aleister Crowley’s books and the religion of Thelema as a whole. Karl Germer, who was the head of the OTO, was arrested by the Gestapo on Hitler’s orders in 1935 and was sent to the Esterwegen concentration camp, but was temporarily released later that year upon his case of blood purity being put before Nazi authorities. Ernst Schertel, an occult philosopher and sexual liberation activist notable for his book Magic: History, Theory and Practice, although he apparently did send a copy of his book to Adolf Hitler, was himself arrested by the Nazis, imprisoned for seven months, and had his doctoral degree revoked. Other occultists, even racialist ones, had been banned, apparently as early as 1934, and it is alleged that the occultist Franz Bardon was interned in a concentration camp by the Nazis for three months in 1945. Many forms of magic and alternative spirtual practice, such as witchcraft, astrology, fortune telling, and spiritual healing were all banned by the Nazi government, while Freemasonry in particular was viciously persecuted by the Nazis who thought that they were allies of a Jewish conspiracy against Germany.
Sometimes it’s claimed that Schertel in particular represented a direct link between Hitler and the occult, and thereby establishing the occult and even supposedly “Satanic” heritage of Nazism, based on the fact that Hitler apparently annotated his copy of Magic: History, Theory and Practice. But having examined the book, or at least the annotations, in light of the wider history of Nazism and its broad Positive Christian agenda, I honestly don’t see much reason to assume that the annotations meant anything for the ideological substance of Nazism. The sole annotation mentioned by Timothy Ryback, the author of Hitler’s Private Library, was “He who does not have the demonic seed within himself will never give birth to a magical world”. There is also no clear idea of how it connects back to the ideological formation and political practice of Nazism, nor can we determine the extent to which Hitler was actually interested in the ideas contained within Schertel’s book. Given that Hitler banned several occult groups and the practice of magic (except for certain Nazi officers like Heinrich Himmler), and that the Nazis arrested Schertel himself, it’s highly unlikely that Hitler gained any real respect for occultism as a result of reading Schertel’s book, and it seems obvious to me that Hitler likely treated the book as merely a piece of curiosity. If Hitler did derive anything substantial from it, it’s not clear what, and perhaps we may never actually know if the book was ever really influential at all. Though, even if it was, it was surely not nearly as infuential on Hitler as the prevailing volkisch Protestant ideology of his day. And to be quite honest, anyone who thinks that Hitler was some sort of esoteric Satanist is operating in complete ignorance of what Nazism stood for and who the Nazis were.
And of course, atheists and secularists were also criminalized by the Nazi government. In 1933, the Nazi government banned all “freethinking” and atheist organisations. One of these was the German Freethinkers League, a forum for atheists and materialist thinkers which was shut down in 1933, on Hitler’s orders and on the demands of Christians within Nazi Germany. Hitler also opposed secular schools on the grounds that all moral instruction had to emerge from religious faith (which, in practice, meant Hitler’s revisionist Christian faith). This is rather strange for a supposed atheist, as Christians often claim Hitler was, to do.
All of this paints a rather clear picture of the reality of the religious identity of the Nazi movement and the Nazi state. Although certain people of various stripes, ranging from Christians to certain anti-Christian neo-Nazis, want to believe that Hitler was this great rupture of anti-Christian revolution in the midst of Christian Europe, this is a myth that has no bearing on reality, and not only that it seems to actively distort and misconstrue reality in service of its own pre-determined conclusion of history. The actual reality of Nazism is that it was a movement that sought to construct its totalitarian state along the lines of a religious volkisch ideology whose prerogatives constituted the realization of the “true” Christianity. In essence, this was a revisitionist Christian project which saw itself as simultaneously restoring and renewing Christianity, simultaneously creating a new Christianity for a new era and restoring the “true” substance of the teaching and cultus of Jesus, by purging anything about Christianity that they felt was too Jewish or too materialist for them. The ultimate religious goals of Nazism consisted of bringing all German Christians into a single new Christian church in line with the new volkisch ideology, waging total holy war with Jews and Communists who they believed to be the forces of the Antichrist come to wage war with God, and in realizing the “true Christianity” that was supposedly contained in their volkisch interpretation of Christianity, by recreating the Bible and the major edifices of Christianity in the image of what they believed to be this “true Christianity”; even if, in practice, this could just as easily be said to be their own image. Insofar as they attacked Christianity, beyond the broader rammifications of their volkisch revisionism constituting a severe heresy against the Christian church, the Nazis preferred simply to attack the “Confessing Churches” who opposed them, while content with the other churches who complied with or supported them. And while Christianity was more or less still instituted and supported within Nazi Germany, we know that Paganism, atheism, occultism, and alternative religious/spiritual beliefs were attacked and often banned or persecuted by the Nazi government.
Take stock of what that means, as it is all too relevant for those in alternative subcultures, occultism, neopaganism, and Satanism and the like who seem willing enough to embrace some form of neo-Nazism. They are only rehashing the same fantasy that Heinrich Himmler had back in his day, when he thought that he might some day replace Adolf Hitler as Fuhrer and perhaps steer Nazi Germany away from Christianity. Now, just as then, this is an illusion. If the Third Reich were to be restored tomorrow, or if a new neo-Nazi regime were to be established, then they would be persecuting “degenerate art” as well as all expression of alternative religion and belief just as before. If you’re a metalhead (including a black metal enthusiast), a goth, a punk, even a skinhead, an occultist, a mystic, a Pagan, a Satanist, or anything like that, no matter how racialist you are, then a new Nazi government would curtail your freedom, imprison you, and/or throw you straight into one of their concentration camps alongside Jews, other non-white/non-“Aryan” people, LGBT people, the disabled, and political dissidents. It’s not for nothing that many neo-Nazi movements are still their own brand of Christian as opposed to being neopagans. If you support Nazism in any way, all that means is you’re selling who you are and your own kind to a Christian fascist agenda in the name of your own meaningless hatred against certain people. Whether you’re doing this because you got convinced that Nazism was good or because you just want to be a contrarian, do us all a favour and follow your new leader.
But why does this idea of the Nazis as some kind of neopagan occult empire persist even if the facts contradict it? The answer, in my opinion, is not very complicated. It’s obvious to me that Christians need the myth of Nazism as a sort of Antichrist state in order to save the legacy of Christianity from being forever damaged by its role in the development of Nazism and in facilitating the Third Reich. It seems that, in strict terms, much of our ideas about the religious identity of Nazism are propagandistic, the work of certain wartime figures looking to juxtapose the otherwise Christian Nazi state against the Christianity of contemporary Western liberal democracies by casting the Nazis as adherents of an esoteric Pagan revivalist religion. But I think, at root, the most basic motivation comes from the fact that Nazi Germany was such a systematically malevolent and brutal regime, and Nazism so seemingly alien to the “values” of the Western world (I mean, unless you count the fact that the Nazis were inspired by the practices of American colonialism and racism as well as that of the British Empire), that it could not possibly reflect the supposed Christian message of love, universalism, and salvation. In other words, Nazism appeared to be so evil that surely it couldn’t possibly be Christian, even though that is what the evidence bears out.
It appears that Christians are not the only ones who are convinced of this myth. Indeed, the idea of the Nazis as being a force of sheer anti-Christian power and archetypical evil seems to have echoed throughout our culture as a memetic presence, to the point that it is sometimes internalized by some who seek to oppose and rebel against Christianity. It’s the reason why certain ideas of embracing Nazi aesthetics as a form of transgression could be found in the early days of the modern Satanist movement, it’s ultimately the reason of why Nazi occultism sometimes finds its way in Left Hand Path circles and the reason why Nazi Satanism is a thing at all, and it’s part of the reason why Nazi aesthetics are sometimes taken up in transgressive subcutlures as a means of rebelling against bourgeois society. In this sense, it is also the reason why black metal sometimes finds itself struggling with the influence of Nazi bands, even despite the fact that Nazism, at its root, is built on a Christian ideology.
It is thus clear what is to be done in order to overcome the problem of creeping Nazism in the Left Hand Path circles as well as the problem of folkism and NSBM. For one thing, resisting fascism means taking an explicit and active anti-fascist stance of some kind, and it has to be more than liberal objection to the extremity of fascism. Rather, it must devote itself to a full conceptual opposition to Nazism and fascism, which stems from the full acknowledgement of what Nazism and fascism are at their root. For any movements dealing with a creeping fascism problem, this means that there needs to be a commited opposition to capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, statism, authoritarianism, hegemony, LGBT-phobia, bourgeois-patriarchal morality, and other forms of bigotry, and thus it also means that trying to remain “apolitical” in the sense of a general stance is strictly impossible, since maintaining a committed anti-fascist opposition is an inherently political act. For our task, we are also charged with deconstructing the inherited dysfunctional myths we have concerning the religious basis of Nazism, as well as deconstructing folkist ideology of both the past and the present. To put it plainly, the problems we face require us to ruthlessly attack the premise that the Nazis were an anti-Christian or “neopagan” or occult movement at every chance we get, armed with the facts of history on our side. All of this is vital for us on the Left Hand Path, Pagan and similar milieus for our struggle against fascism, since it means attacking the myths that are used to legitimate its presence, and refusing to brook any elements who would allow the infiltration of fascism into our communities.
Additionally, if there are supposed anti-fascists who seem to be on our side of the struggle only to then turn around and accuse us of being fascists because of Paganism, then we cannot call them friends or comrades, and if anything they might just be our enemies. It is empty to profess opposition to religious bigotry only to turn around and insist that you are a fascist simply for brandishing ancient runes (and I’m talking about the actual Germanic runes, not the symbology that was created or adapted by the Nazis) or wanting to re-establish the worship of the old gods. If there are those who insist the contrary, then they are against us, and they operate under the same bias that is used to obfuscate the volkisch Christian roots of Nazism, and practically operate in service us the same myth invented by the Christian establishment, even if their actual guiding myth might be the abolition of all religion on the grounds that religion itself is somehow fascist or reactionary.
In summary, the big picture is clear. Nazism is not Pagan, and never was Pagan. Nazism is a political movement that derives a religious basis and justification in the idea of “Positive Christianity”, which is a revisionist and folkist form of Christianity that sought the emergence of a new Christianity, which is also meant to be the “true Christianity”, which is thus “freed” from its supposed Jewish trappings. This idea emerges from a line of volkisch/nationalist Protestant theology, and has its predecent centuries earlier in Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic writings and in the radically dualist Christianity of Marcion. Paganism only represented a minority of Nazis, and otherwise it was generally banned and persecuted, while occultism had no substantial influence on Hitler’s ideology, was mostly the reserve of the SS, and was otherwise banned and persecuted. Ideas of Pagan or occult Nazism are the product of a sort of post-war mythology that sought to make sense of the horrors of Nazism by presenting them as the metaphysical enemies of “Western”, here meaning Christian, civilization. This myth has been internalized in certain areas of modern Western occultism and folkist neopaganism, but it is a myth all the same, one that is at odds with and in opposition to reality. Therefore, the nature of our struggle within Paganism, occultism, Left Hand Path spirituality, and any and all subcultures that are adjacent to them, against fascist/Nazi creep consists in part of an active assault against the erroneous Christian mythology that has sought to assert the moral superiority of the Christian faith by trying to frame Nazism as the product of rival creeds.
We must be uncompromising in this battle, or we will fall.
Back in August this year there was a controversy surrounding the Steelfest Open Air festival in Finland, which for about a decade had been one of the nation’s most prolific extreme metal festivals and is set to return in 2022, after the global Covid-19 pandemic prevented them and several other music festivals around the world from playing. The festival also attracted attention for the fact that Sodom and other famous and respectable metal bands were set to play there, and that the line-up also contained several bands that could be classed as NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal). There was a string of middling to mediocre responses over this, and several bands eventually cancelled their appearance at Steelfest and distanced themselves from it while other bands stayed in the line-up and some performatively distanced themselves from Steelfest’s detractors. This week, months after the original controversy started, the magazine Bardo Methodology hosted an interview with Jani Laine, the organizer of Steelfest Open Air, to discuss the festival and the attendant controversy surrounding it. The interview was conducted by Niklas Goransson, and it was very much a soft touch.
The interview is divided into two parts, and thus two separate articles, the first of which begins with a hefty dose autobiographical content detailing how Jani became a part of the underground metal scene. While it’s definitely good for if you want to know how he became a musician and started his own band, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. It also contains a great deal of retrospection about how Steelfest came to be, with Jani recounting how it began as basically a private party among close friends featuring a lot of metal music and booze before gradually morphing into an incorporated open air festival. Right away, though, there’s a problem.
Among the bands listed by Jani, we see the bands Goatmoon and Satanic Warmaster listed as “Finnish underground bands” alongside Horna and Barathrum, and a little later Goatmoon is cited as a strong representative of the Finnish black metal scene alongside Horna, Impaled Nazarene, and White Death. Bands like Goatmoon are discussed without anyone ever bringing up the well-known, well-documented fact that they are open neo-Nazis. The explicit neo-Nazism of Satanic Warmaster is never discussed either. Or for that matter the Nazi ties of Horna, or the fascism of Destroyer 666, Peste Noire, Graveland, or Nokturnal Mortum.
Where the interview does actually talk about the issue of Steelfest and Nazism begins here:
While Jani’s concept might be popular among those who attend his events, it turns out that not everyone is quite as enthusiastic. A Finnish activist group wrote no less than four full-length articles about the 2019 edition, proclaiming Steelfest a nazi festival on accounts of hosting bands like MARDUK, MGŁA, HORNA, and SEIGNEUR VOLAND. The latter, an old French black metal band, share their perspective on the matter as part of the massive print-exclusive feature in Bardo Archivology Vol. 2. The activists also published a list of Steelfest’s business partners, urging likeminded readers to take action.
Yeah…definitely nothing Nazi about these guys, I’m sure. But what does Jani say?
This domestic group, which is what you might call our local ‘SJW’ network, has been pestering us throughout our entire history. Those articles are downright embarrassing in terms of accuracy. They name an individual who has nothing whatsoever to do with Steelfest, nor any parts of the organisation, as owner of our company. Also, they claim to ‘know for a fact’ that we arrange festivals with supposedly ‘problematic’ record shops and labels. In reality, we’ve never collaborated with any of those mentioned: we’re busy enough with our own events. Fact or fiction means nothing to these people; they will run with whatever fits their narrative, no matter if it’s sheer fabrication.
It would seem that Jani is one of those reactionaries who still gasses on about “SJWs” towards the end of 2021. Jani never once specifies which record shops and labels are being considered “problematic” and which Steelfest was said to have arranged festivals with. Variverkosto specifies that Steelfest cooperates with groups like Horror Shop (an NSBM oultet), Werewolf Records (a record label run by the guy behind Satanic Warmaster and which houses a lot of NSBM bands), and KVLT Shop (which is owned by Sami Tenetz from Beherit and sells a shitload of Nazi merchandise). Kvlt Shop has frequently participated in Steelfest, as does Horror Shop. Already I kind of suspect that Jani might not be telling the whole truth.
Of course, Niklas does not challenge Jani on any of this, and instead his next question is simply “Did anything change as a result of this?”. The answer is obviously no, and then Jani goes on a ramble about how everyone who thinks he’s a fascist is part of a fanatical cult that’s out to destroy his business.
Their main goal was clearly to – in one way or another – inflict as much damage to our company as possible and create problems for Steelfest’s business partners. You know, that’s how these cults work if you cross them: no interaction or attempted dialogue, just terrorising. Your only means of escape is to cave in and obey. Cancel your performance, issue statements in support of their agenda, and deny your own history. Should a member of your band be deemed questionable, he must be kicked out immediately.
How much power does Jani think the people at Variverkosto have over him and the Finnish black metal scene? Considering that Steelfest still went ahead that year, I don’t think Jani was in any danger of getting censored or terrorized. And terrorized by what? Boycotts? Aren’t you supposed to be about “strength and honor” and all that shit? Come on, get real.
Then comes the question of “Did you take any counter-measures?”, to which Jani says:
Well, we spoke with the police – ‘What the hell is going on? Is it even legal to spread disinformation about other people like this?’ After a short investigation by law enforcement, they explained that this is an insignificant but extremely active group who employ such tactics to draw attention to themselves, and in doing so promoting their political ideology. The cops said that we were well within our rights to press charges for defamation, ‘but all that would accomplish is bringing them closer to their goal’. Ever since, we’ve simply ignored the efforts of this irrelevant little group.
OK, so the Finnish police probably had a right-wing bias. Not the biggest surprise, all things considered. But what’s really interesting is when the cops apparently said that the Steelfest guys were within their rights to press defamation charges, but advised against it because “all that would accomplish is bringing them closer to their goal”. Why? I mean, if Jani and the cops are right and the anti-fascists really are just defaming them and spreading misinformation, why would pressing charges against them help the anti-fascists? To spread their political ideology by being defeated in court, in a case that I’ll bet few people outside the metal underground would know or even care about? Don’t give me that shit. I’ll bet that if Jani did press charges, the anti-fascists would present the case against them, and then there’s a good chance that it would have been shown that there was more going on with the Steelfest crew than just some dumb, edgy centrism.
It’s then claimed that the anti-fascists urged people to contact the city of Hyvinkaa to shut down Steelfest, and that this didn’t work (well, obviously it didn’t work, if the festival happened at all), and then Jani claims that many public officers and even local council members have been to Steelfest and thus “have seen with their own eyes that this festival is nothing like what these totalitarian cults paint us out to be”. The irony of somebody hanging around with fascists and outright Nazis complaining about totalitarianism seems to be lost on far too many people these days, but more importantly there is reason to doubt that this is the case since this is the festival known for featuring bands and fans openly sporting Nazi salutes. Then again, I’m sure Goatmoon can’t be in every Steelfest line-up.
Then Jani makes a lot of out there claims about left-wing critics, such as this:
But let us acknowledge one thing here: such methods aren’t even remotely rooted in a wish for a civilised society. What once started from the ‘left side’ of politics isn’t promoting social democratic views anymore, if it ever did. Quite the opposite. Threats, blackmail, sabotage, social media harassment – all the shit they pull is reaching proportions of religious persecution. And on that note, there is something I want to say about this. I’m sure you’ve noticed the increasing polarisation; how one is forced to pick a side. Bipartisan interaction is no longer possible, right?
And here I thought the left were supposed to be the ones playing victim all the time. There’s not a chance that many of the things he describes are even remotely true. If we strictly go by the exact account of things, which is that some anti-fascists reported on fascist/NSBM bands playing at Steelfest (which, I assure you, there were a lot of them in 2019) and called on people to basically boycott the festival, does this really sound like religious persecution to anybody? Because I don’t think it does. I think Jani is being deliberately hyperbolic in order to garner sympathy in a community and time where he knows he might be capable of getting at least some people to support his side of the story, and Bardo Methodology won’t challenge him for it. Nor will they ask the most basic question, and it’s basically the same question I put to Rhyd Wildermuth just a few days ago: why do you want bipartisanship with fascists?
Nor will they challenge claims such as this:
Well, over the last decade we’ve witnessed the biggest transfer of wealth in recorded history. I don’t know, but one might think that something like this would warrant the slightest bit of concern from those who identify as being on the left side of the political spectrum. Instead, it seems to me as if the left has mutated and been subverted into its current incarnation – with their psychotic fixation on gender, race, intersectionality, or whatever the current buzzwords are. So, if the undivided attention of the left side is on these matters, rather than the biggest transfer of wealth in recorded history, then we must conclude that polarisation works. And then consider this: who is the winner when people are divided and fighting amongst themselves? Divide, conquer, and control both sides.
The suggestion here is that the left has chosen to ignore the issue of the largest transfer of wealth in world history in favour of a “psychotic fixation on gender, race, intersectionality”. This, of course, would require a great deal of ignorance about the left, which is noted for its proclivity to discuss economic inequality, gender identity, and race relations at once. You see, according to Jani’s smooth-lobed marshmallow brain, it is impossible for people to discuss multiple issues at the same time, let alone as being interdependent or interlocked with one another. Thus, he would have us believe that being a leftist means having to choose between talking about “identity politics” or talking about economics, even though every leftist talks about both, even the leftists that claim to hate talking about intersectionality. But for Jani this is all part of a conspiracy to divide and conquer the masses, whose puppetmasters “control both sides”. I wonder who Jani thinks these puppetmasters are, considering his known associations with neo-Nazis.
Niklas actually seems to think this conspiracy theory is valid, and devotes a paragraph not to questioning whether any of it is true or even who the supposed mastermind of it all is but rather to explaining what he understands to be the concept of dividing and conquering. Jani then further elaborates on his ideology of manic conspiracy centrism:
This is not about ‘NSBM’, nor is it about the left or right side of the political spectrum – that much should be blatantly obvious. And it’s working perfectly. The mindset of the left seems to be that banning someone or disapproving of their content, de-platforming or cancelling, will have the desired result: getting them to start ‘behaving’. This is because these people are under the illusion that everyone else is as they are. But such repression gives the ‘target’ a sense of self-righteousness and motivation to fight back. The ‘left-side’ doesn’t seem to understand this, so they push even harder. Of course, their counterpart isn’t much better. The ‘right’ has taken an underdog position and seems to think that all their beliefs are under assault, they imagine that anyone and everyone can be against them. So, once again society becomes more divided, further escalating conflict.
So, it’s not about NSBM (which for some reason he prefers to put in scare quotes), even though basically every problem with Steelfest ties back to the subject of NSBM, and it’s actually about how the left are all Stalinists who want to ban, de-platform, “cancel” (imagine still going on about that after the Matt Gaetz scandal) everyone they don’t like in order to get them to “behave” because they don’t understand this makes their targets self-righteous and gives them the will to fight back, who them cultivate the delusion that their beliefs are under assault and everyone is against them. Yes, the guy who’s convinced that a secret conspiracy is dividing society and causing him to be censored is somehow going to accuse someone else of having a delusional victim complex!
Following this Niklas moves on to the subject of Covid-19 and how devastated Jani was to have to cancel Steelfest because of it, and then the return of Steelfest being announced this year. Then we move on to part 2, which begins by talking about the controversy in August. Jani predictably masturbates about how he wanted to demonstrate “the old F.O.A.D. spirit” which he thinks is no longer present in some people but is alive in underground metal. If I’m being honest, I’d argue that there’s a certain “fuck off and die” attitude that anti-fascists and punks have always reserved against fascists, and that Lani has a hard time understanding that. He then proclaims that he will not negotiate with a third party about the Steelfest line-up nor “allow anyone to influence our decisions in any way, shape, or form”. When inevitably asked if he had any regrets about the Steelfest line-up, Jani says:
Definitely not. But did I learn a few valuable lessons here? Sure. Had I done things differently, knowing what I know now? Of course. Would I get rid of even one ‘no-name band’ if ten of the bigger acts – or their agencies – demanded it? Not a chance. This has been our firm policy ever since the very first event, Steelfest 2012, when some deranged SJW sect demanded that we cancel IMPALED NAZARENE on accounts of their political leanings, sexually suspicious lyrics, and whatever else. Obviously, we did no such thing.
I have no idea what he’s talking about. Maybe it’s one of those really way back things but I can’t find anything out about what Jani’s talking about here. I’m aware of Impaled Nazarene being controversial, but not because of anything sexual. The only controversy involving them I’ve ever seen around them involves politics, and on that let me just say this about Impaled Nazarene: I don’t think they’re Nazis, and I don’t think they’re necessarily fascists, but I do think that they seem to lean to the far-right. They’re pretty well known for promoting right-wing Finnish nationalism on albums like Suomi Finland Perkele (which has a song glorifying anti-communist violence in the Winter War) and Pro Patria Finlandia (which is probably even more cringe-inducing than it already looks), as well as standard edgy boomer-tier right-wing politics on their most recent album, Eight Headed Serpent (which features an abysmal whine-fest song called “Foucault Pendulum” as its closing track). So as far as I’m concerned, they’re at least an avowedly right-wing band, probably far-right if I’m being honest, even if that’s not neo-Nazism or fascism and some such. You can probably enjoy some of their stuff if you’re willing to look past that, gods know that still applies to Megadeth and they’ve had Alex Jones diatribes for lyrics, but I’m just saying this is what it is. To be honest, Impaled Nazarene is probably the least problematic band out of all of the bands we’ve discussed so far, but don’t get comfy, because that doesn’t say anything good about the territory we’re dealing with – this is the Finnish black metal scene after all.
Curiously enough, Jani tries to make this about honour:
The notion of backing out of an agreement with a band we’ve booked never so much as occurred to us. Our unrepentant attitude, fuelled by principles and core values, is all we have in this world; it is the essence of everything we do. If we were to sell out or otherwise lose that spirit, there can be no more Steelfest. I mean… okay, say I’ve invited a band to perform at our festival. Should I then call them back to say that they have now been ‘cancelled’ at the behest of a third party? Honour, dignity, and self-respect on that one? None whatsoever. There is no room for such concerns when I decide the line-up; the best bands will be booked, not those who are ‘woke’ enough.
Not wanting to go back on your word is one thing, being all about honour, dignity, and self-respect is one thing, being unrepentant about principles and core values is one thing, and if that was all there is to this whole thing I would probably respect the hell out of it for the militant metalhead attitude, but we all know that’s not the case. Jani thinks that people want him to only air “woke” bands, but that’s not true. The only concrete demand, if such can be called, is that Steelfest not be a platform for neo-Nazis. If the worst you could say about Steelfest was that Impaled Nazarene was gonna be on there, there’d arguably be no real issue, it’d just be kind of cringe that they’d be there all things considered. But instead, the problem with Steelfest is that they’ve been a haven for NSBM and fascist black metal bands and merchants for years and get to be a prolific extreme metal festival for it, all while the people who use their music and its subculture as a channel through which neo-Nazism can spread do so unabated! That is the problem, and until Jani and his defenders understand this the controversy will recur for as long as Steelfest is still a thing.
Of course, Jani will probably have none of this, and in fact he considers the entire controversy to be manufactured by industry insiders. He starts by talking about Sodom, saying that they played in Steelfest in 2013 with Horna, Satanic Warmaster, and Goatmoon and no one complained (which, if true, what the actual fuck?), then Niklas explained that Jani apparently had a chat with an anonymous industry insider, who sent him an email asking him to “make some decisions upon how you want your buisness future to be”. If we assume that exchange to be real, then what follows is of course Jani telling the insider to fuck off and supposedly it was then that everything kicked off. He claims that another insider tipped him off about a plan to organize false accusations against Steelfest, claiming they’re Nazis, for the purpose of “making them behave”. Who is supposedly organizing a shadowy smear campaign against Steelfest, or why tons of people condemning Steelfest and calling them Nazis would require a conspiracy of industry insiders to orchestrate, is never established, much less questioned by Niklas.
Jani shared apparent emails with Niklas, with one urging him to “cancel the questionable bands again or not”. Which are the questionable bands? Well, Graveland is mentioned. Graveland is to this day an NSBM band. They still re-release albums that feature songs with white supremacist lyrics, such Dawn of Iron Blades which contains a song called “Semper Fidelis” whose lyrics include a reference to David Lane’s 14 words, and its founder Rob Darken is a self-described National Socialist. It also appeared to include Archgoat. I haven’t seen a lot to indicate that Archgoat themselves are Nazis. That said, Archgoat did do a split album called Lux Satanae (Thirteen Hymns of Finnish Devil Worship) with Satanic Warmaster, who are so openly neo-Nazi that one of the songs within that same split, “Wolves of Blood and Iron” literally opens with the words “Sieg Heil!” before going into an anti-semitic lyrical tirade (this, by the way, seems to be the same song that appeared on Satanic Warmaster’s first album, Strength and Honour). This album is distributed by Hell’s Headbangers Records, an ostensibly non-Nazi record label, which I suppose goes to show the extent of their commitment to any principled opposition to Nazism. Since there are people who try to claim that Satanic Warmaster’s neo-Nazism is just some edgelordery from 20 years ago, I must point out that this split was released no earlier than December 14th 2015. And just to put another nail in that swastika-branded coffin, Satanic Warmaster released a song on a Satanic Skinhead Propaganda compilation in 2010, and songs like “Carelian Satanist Madness” which feature anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi lyrics are still re-released and played live to this day, so Satanic Warmaster’s NSBM trajectory is continuous, which it obviously would be because that is its musical and ideological identity. I have to repeat for emphasis: Satanic Warmaster is a Nazi band. Even if Archgoat weren’t Nazis or fascists expressly, it seems to me that they didn’t have a problem with the songs that Satanic Warmaster contributed, and I’m guessing that they’re fans of the band’s work as a whole. To call Archgoat “questionable”, then, is actually just being polite. It’s politically correct if anything else. Jani also mentioned Horna, which, as I’ve discussed already, has definite links to the NSBM scene. It kind of seems like Finnish black metal in particular has a lot of fucking Nazis in it, does it not?
Also, when Jani says this:
Oddly, this index of the unacceptable included several bands that all these agents were perfectly fine with when they played Steelfest in 2018 and 2019.
That’s not the counter-argument he thinks it is. All you’re establishing is that those agents didn’t have a problem with Nazi bands just a couple of years ago, and now they do. That speaks more to their priorities and their attitudes than to whether or not Steelfest is an NSBM haven.
Niklas doesn’t discusss the actual lyrical content of those bands. Instead he just takes the opportunity to make what is essentially a childish comment about how he finds his critics ugly:
Taking Steelfest’s Facebook page as an example, there seems to have been a substantial influx of new commenters around this time. Far be it from me to pass judgement based on someone’s physical appearance, but I’m not convinced that many of those voicing their concerns were intending to visit the festival in the first place.
This is another non-argument, but it goes to show something rather suspect. I mean, why does it matter what someone looks like when you are addressing what they have to say. I’m sure that many people wouldn’t listen to a Nazi even if the Nazi was, hypothetically speaking, the most beautiful woman in the world, and they would be right to dismiss that person for being a Nazi. If Jani sees fit to talk about honour, dignity, and self-respect, then in my opinion those things are diminished when you suckle at the teat of Nazism, and especially if you yourself don’t even own up to the ideology while doing so. Werwolf, the man behind Satanic Warmaster, is the perfect example: he sings about honour while parading the dishonourable ideology of Nazism, but all the while denies being a Nazi even though he literally writes Nazi lyrics. The man shouts Nazi slogans, brandishes Nazi imagery, and hangs around with other Nazi bands, but he doesn’t even once own up to being a Nazi, and so strongly denies it that he made a whole bullshit graph trying to show that he supposedly rarely he sings about Nazism. From a certain standpoint, where’s the “strength and honour” in that?
Then the interview discusses the bands Sodom and Samael, who were originally going to perform at Steelfest, having cancelled their respective appearances. Jani claims that Sodom were forced to cancel their appearance because of a coordinated harassment organised by entire networks, forums, and websites, and claims further that one such message board celebrated and took credit for Sodom cancelling their appearance. Of course, Jani won’t tell us which websites, forums, or networks he’s referring to. I almost suspect he may be trying to refer to the Antifascist Black Metal Network, a group that promotes black metal bands that are politically committed to resistance against fascism as expressed through radical left-wing ideology, but, to be honest, if he is then he’s stretching a certain amount of credulity. Again, how powerful or influential does Jani think these anti-fascists are? Are we supposed to believe that the Antifascist Black Metal Network has enough influence to orchestrate a massive campaign against Steelfest, in a subculture where if anything you’ll find a little too many people defending literal NSBM bands? If that’s what we’re supposed to believe, I would expect substantial evidence to support this claim. But I don’t expect such evidence to be forthcoming, so I consider Jani’s claim to be non-admissible.
Then we get into more cancellations. Apparently the band Moonsorrow cancelled their appearance in Steelfest, which of course Jani mocks. We’re told that Uada agreed to play alongside Graveland at Messe de Morts, which is very bad if true. Not only did Sodom, Samael, and Moonsorrow cancel, but so did Impaled Nazarene and Archgoat of all bands, as well as Havukruunu, Melechesh, Primordial, Dark Funeral, Ensiferum, Deicide, and Dismember. Once again, Lani attempts to frame this as a conspiracy to get metal bands to violate their principles:
There were a couple of disappointing moments, seeing certain high-profile bands cancelling. I had a good phone-call with one of them, which ended by him saying: ‘I feel ashamed, because we are pissing all over our legacy and I know it. This antifa shit, I’m totally against it – always have been. But we need to do this tour and some of the dates might be in jeopardy if we appear at Steelfest. I feel sick, but after discussions with our label, management, and agency, we have decided to cancel.’ So, after several conversations like this, it started to get under my skin. But I do agree with him on one point: extremely embarrassing indeed.
Again, he doesn’t exactly say who this guy is. It could be anyone. I don’t think that every band who cancelled did so for purely principled reasons, and I’ve criticized Sodom’s conflicting statements on the matter in my previous post about Steelfest, but I don’t think it is reasonable to assume that everyone who cancelled did so for opportunistic reasons. Hell, I’m somewhat confident that a lot of the people who played in Steelfest for years had no idea what they were getting into, and likely didn’t do any research into the bands they were playing with or the shops that were getting involved, because if they had done so they would probably never have considered going to Steelfest to start with.
Then, when asked if most of Steelfest’s problems were created by insiders rather than online blowback (the latter actually makes much more sense), Jani says this:
Yes, but they are connected. For agencies, managements, and labels, any such negative publicity is a serious threat to their revenue stream. It has nothing to do with ethical opposition to supposed ‘NSBM’, but rather proactive damage control. It’s about who is ‘problematic’ as opposed to politically correct, safe, or whatever else. These people don’t give a shit whether any of it is actually true, or what would be the morally right thing to do. They are not involved in black metal with spirit.
Insofar as supposedly nobody in the industry involved with promoting Steelfest had an issue with bands like Goatmoon or Satanic Warmaster before, he might have a point for once. But, I would say that within recent years there’s an increasing growth in political consciousness in parts of the black metal scene, particularly the need to create an explicit ideological counter-presence to the NSBM scene as well as the complacency with which it is sometimes treated. Bands like Caina, Gravpel, Spectral Lore, Mystras, Feminazgul, Dawn Ray’d, Trespasser, and many, many, many more all represent a growing scene of explicitly anti-fascist black metal, sometimes referred to as Red and Anarchist Black Metal (or RABM), and labels like Grime Stone Records make their zero tolerance opposition to NSBM clearer than daylight. None of these people have anything to do with Steelfest per se, but in the broader context of our times I’d say that people are more conscious of fascism nowadays, as the contradictions of capitalism lead onto the resurgence at growth of fascism throughout the world, people are getting up close and personal to the horrors of fascism in a way that perhaps they might not have been about a decade or so ago. Of course, this is not to say that there haven’t been anti-fascist and anti-racism initiatives in the metal community and rock as a whole for decades now, but there is growing consciousness and attention given to the problems of creeping fascism and unchallenged bigotry, particularly following certain episodes from otherwise mainstream or quasi-mainstream bands such as Pantera and Watain. To be sure, people can go nuts over it, and fanaticism and zealotry can inevitably be found in some would-be consumer watchdogs of the internet, but people can take the information they see and do with it what they will, and there is a clear desire to not let the subculture we love be given over to fascism and white supremacy. Thus, people are reviewing their listening choices more carefully than they might have in the past, and in sight of such considerations certain bands and certain festivals have been found wanting.
This is the principle of freedom of choice and association that Jani and his supporters won’t prefer to talk about, much less have you consider thoughtfully. What concerns Jani is being involved in black metal “with spirit”, and he believes that this means pulling out of Steelfest is unprincipled and a surrender to commercialism. I say that this says more about Jani’s ideas about black metal than about his critics. His ideas about “honour”, “dignity”, “self-respect”, and “principles” all seem to involve tolerance for NSBM bands. The basic problem there is that if those Nazis ever got the chance, they would jackboot all over you if you’re not one of them. At that point, all you’re saying is you’d prefer to caress said jackboots with your tongue. I can’t see what’s so manly, brave, dignified, or honourable about that.
Frankly, I see Jani as more politically correct than any of the people he’s complaining about, for the sole reason that he puts the term NSBM in scare quotes! He even refers to it as “supposed ‘NSBM'”. Thus, he’s suggesting that perhaps the bands everyone’s talking about are not NSBM. In which case, what would you prefer we call them? Considering the lyrical content of bands like Goatmoon, Satanic Warmaster, or Graveland, I fail to see what to call them if not NSBM or Nazis. Would he prefer that we call them “true kvlt black metal” instead? This is what by some definitions would be called political correctness. Jani would prefer that we not tell it like it is and call Nazis what they are: Nazis, that is. But I think there’s also more to it than that. He frequently says that he knows Steelfest inside out. If we take him seriously, that means he knows that there’s Nazi bands and businesses affiliated with it. If he knows this, then he knows that in order to keep Steelfest going he needs to avoid scrutiny from the wider community. To avoid scrutiny and accountability, he must make it seem that the problem everyone else is talking about doesn’t exist, so he has to deny that those bands are Nazis. Then again maybe he’s a fucking idiot anyway and he actually believes that they aren’t fascists.
So anyways the interview moves on, not to challenge Jani but rather to attempt to prove his point about scary cancel culture by pointing to an episode from last year in which the frontman of an unnamed “prominent American band” mentioned a Hate Forest album as his inspiration in an interview for Revolver Magazine, for which he received backlash and later apologized with some sop story about privilege. Yet again for some reason the band and its frontman aren’t named, and I can’t find the interview anywhere. So since we can’t address that subject directly due to a lack of information, let’s instead just address what Jani goes on to say.
Anything which might someday harm the band’s chances of performing at bigger mainstream festivals and venues is a financial threat. This is a business – so set aside your pride, mock your own history, and deny everyone who might be considered verboten. Of course, this is not tackling the situation but rather surrendering and showing acceptance to it. For me, the hardest puzzle to solve is what the hell some artists are thinking? Say some promoter warns them about performing alongside this or that act at some other event… to then see respected musicians comply and cancel so they can stay in the good graces of the very people issuing such threats. Seriously, what the fuck is up with that? Sacrificing both your credibility and any remaining respect from the underground just for the sake of bigger tours and mainstream festivals?
For me, the last sentence is the part doing all the work here. Credibility in the eyes of whom? He says the underground, but he should know that the metal underground does not consist only of people who salivate over fascist/NSBM bands like mindless dogs. In fact, who are you to say that the metal underground does not also consist of RABM bands, who aren’t particularly mainstream in their own right? For all you know there were lots of underground metalheads who were pissed at Sodom for playing with Satanic Warmaster. Are those people not “underground” according to you? Why? By what standard? And who are you to say? I guess the other sentence doing heavy lifting is “so set aside your pride, mock your own history, and deny everyone who might be considered verboten”. What history? What pride? Do you seriously think that every underground band likes the thought of being in the same sub-scene as Peste Noire, Goatmoon, or Seigneur Voland? Is this something to take pride in? Are you dense?
Skipping Jani’s prattle about how every non-NSBM band is a servant of the lords of commerce (something tells me this isn’t a reference to Hermes if you know what I mean), let’s address the part of the interview where supposedly musicians have spoken to Niklas saying that they knew that Steelfest’s line-up would be “spicy” (again with the polite language obfuscating NSBM) but said that Jani had “gone too far” this time. Considering that Jani was quite happy to have NSBM bands at Steelfest for years before, I’m definitely curious as to what you’d have to do in order to have “gone too far” this time. But this seems to be yet another of those questions I can’t get the answer to. But Jani’s response is typical at this point:
I don’t know who this says the most about: me or the artist claiming that I ‘simply went too far’. Consider for a moment what those words really mean. It’s not as if I sit down to calculate how many potentially ‘offensive’ bands to include. And offensive to who and from what perspective? For example, a domestic group that seems obsessed with Steelfest produced a list of what they claim to be nineteen confirmed ‘nazi’ or somehow nazi-adjacent acts. It spread far outside Finland and has now been shared widely across the world. Should I – or any other promoter – consult this list when pondering future bookings? Because it includes PRIMORDIAL, MOONSORROW, and IMPALED NAZARENE… all of whom cancelled Steelfest to distance themselves from bands accused of the same thing. I’m not trying to be naïve here, but you should ask yourself: where is the line? Who draws it? When is it enough?
Once again, the group is not named. I’m not sure, but I think he might be referring to either the Antifascist Black Metal Network or the RABM subreddit. I’ve seen different websites and pages discussing which band is suspect or not, and on this basis I think that there isn’t the kind of totalitarian orthodoxy that Jani appears to suggest. I personally lean to the idea that a band is fascist insofar as express fascism is a part of the band’s musical output and creative identity. In other words, a band isn’t fascist because one of its members has problematic or right-wing views on an individual level, separate from the music or creative project as a whole. The project itself has to be a vehicle for fascistic messaging or sympathy in order to be a fascist band. A good example of this as applied to a more generally right-wing nationalist ethos moreso than fascist is in the band Winterfylleth: it’s not just that the band has members that consider themselves conservatives or English nationalists, but when you look around you find that English nationalism, and I mean not even in a “neopagan” sense but more like some kind of secular quasi-folkist worldview, is a core part of the ideas that the band wishes to express in their music under the guise of Anglo-Saxon heritage. That, incidentally, is the reason I find myself unable to conscionably support them, particularly as someone who favors Welsh independence and opposes English colonialism (seriously just listen to Iselder). Of course, things can get a tad more complicated than that. If I’m not mistaken Acherontas didn’t claim to be a Nazi band for many years, and yet I would say they’re at least Nazi enough to appear at the Asgardsrei festival, a notorious and prolific NSBM festival in Ukraine which also serves as a hub for far-right terrorists. Then again, the signs of Acherontas possibly being an NSBM band were there if you knew where to look. On their 2014 split album, Pylons of the Adversary, you can find a stylized Sonnenrad (the Nazi sunwheel symbol) on the back. I should also note that, contrary to Jani’s simplistic morality, just cancelling your gig at Steelfest might be good, but doesn’t make a problematic band not problematic at all. It just means they’re not totally bad.
I tend to think that the best way is to check band by band, especially because tends of non-Nazi/non-fascist bands can appear on fascist labels, probably not even thinking too much about it half the time. The story of the one-man atmospheric black metal Galdr is informative in this regard. Galdr was once signed onto Darker Than Black Records, who hosted their debut album in 2011. Although it doesn’t look like every black metal band their is NSBM, and Galdr themselves never were, Darker Than Black Records is owned by Henrik Möbus and his brother Ronald Möbus, both of whom are members of the notorious NSBM band Absurd. But Draugr, the man behind Galdr, was as I just said never a Nazi, a fascist, or even particularly right-wing. Before 2019 he described himself as kind of a liberal, and an apathetic one, but one who wasn’t always comfortable with the people in Darker Than Black Records, especially after they kept sending him smashed up CD cases of his albums. Since 2019, Draugr has come out as an anti-fascist and an anarchist, publicly denounced and distanced himself from Darker Than Black Records, repudiated his former beliefs along with all forms of right-wing politics, and now his debut album is on Unity Temple, which from what I’ve heard donates some of its profits to left-wing causes. I’m sure Jani would like to assume that Draugr has sold out his own pride and history to “the woke crowd”, which to be honest says more about Jani’s own beliefs than anyone else’s commitment to black metal.
Now, I thought that the interview would never bring up the fact that Goatmoon and their fans raised Nazi salutes during one Steelfest. But it turns out that they did, albeit as the only accusation they do acknowledge as legitimate. But they still don’t acknowledge it as neo-Nazism. Instead they only misleadingly refer to it as “radical content”, which could mean anything that even remotely appears to be against the current system. Still, it seems to be one of the only instances in which things like this are brought up. In any case, Jani responds as follows:
Sure, but the notion that I would align ideologically with every single one of the hundreds of artists who played at Steelfest over the past nine years is beyond ridiculous. We have hosted many acts with diametrically opposing positions on both religion and politics, so this assumption that we would favour one over the other makes no sense. Without exception, bands are selected on the merits of their artistic output – not whatever personal viewpoints the individual musicians might hold. I do not ask prospective bookings to fill out questionnaires declaring each member’s standpoints. I simply don’t care or even want to hear about anyone’s opinion. Left, right, centrist, or none at all… don’t care, not interested.
This doesn’t really address anything except to show where Jani stands, or more specifically his ostensible lack of a stance. We already know that Jani has had lots of NSBM bands in Steelfest off the back of them being “true underground black metal”. If that’s what he means by the merits of their artistic output, well then all that tells us is that he can be swayed by the merits of songs that begin with “Sieg Heil!”, quote the 14 Words, and glorify totalitarian genocide, and might presumably be utterly repelled by music that explicitly politicizes against those things judging by his reaction to anti-fascist initiatives. In fact he explicitly praises bands that continue to play with NSBM bands and condemns whose who disavow them.
When Niklas asks if Jani has any responsibility to ensure that fans aren’t subjected to extremist propaganda (read: fascist propaganda; again, extremist can mean almost anything), Jani says this:
As the organiser, our main concern is that everything taking place both on and off stage falls within Finnish laws and regulations. Those who find the presence of certain bands upsetting can simply stay in the beer tent when said acts are on stage; or, better yet, avoid the festival altogether. Totally fine. The same applies if our events are too ‘multicultural’ or ‘degenerate’ for you. Certain organisations have made us aware that they don’t tolerate Steelfest as we’ve always had visitors and performers from many different backgrounds – be it ethnicity or sexual orientation. The reason we are targeted from all directions is because we refuse to pick a side.
I somehow doubt that any fans of Steelfest are going to find anything too “multicultural” or “degenerate” for them there. If you happen to be a fascist and a black metal fan at the same time, odds are either “degeneracy” isn’t that big a problem for you considering the transgressive nature of the genre as a whole, or your idea of what is “degenerate” doesn’t include black metal for whatever reason. I also don’t believe that there are too many organizations that hate Steelfest because they have non-white and non-straight performers, not least because the “certain organisations” Lani mentions are, as usual, unnamed. The fact that Kvlt Shop sells actual Nazi merch and hangs around Steelfest, and the fact that Horror Shop also does white power and hang around Steelfest tells me that these people don’t see anything about Steelfest that’s too offensive for their sensibilities. But the idea that there are fascists that hate Steelfest’s guts, even though Finland’s most prolific NSBM bands as well as NSBM bands outside of Finland all gathered there, lets Jani engage in all manner of centrist self-righteousness about how he is hated by everyone because he refuses to pick a side. Well, cowardice was never considered a virtue, and refusing to stand against fascism could be interpreted as cowardice, at least if we aren’t supposed to take it as de facto support for fascism. But more to the point, Jani isn’t telling the truth here. He isn’t refusing to take a side, because he has already taken the side of the NSBM bands who played at Steelfest, by defending their inclusion and condemning whose who oppose them on ideological grounds. The claim to ideological impartiality is, at least in practical terms, is not to be taken seriously.
Niklas again takes Jani’s side here, and here again we see a certain fear-mongering about anti-fascist initiatives:
There are potential long-term perils with all these arbitrarily compiled lists. Not only do they deter promoters from booking the bands in question, but – now that performing at the same festival as someone deemed dodgy is also a factor – agents will not want to let their property anywhere near them.
What agents are getting their cues about who’s fascist and who isn’t from lists of bands compiled on Reddit or some other web page? Again, how much power do the anti-fascist movements actually have over festival organizers and agents for high-profile metal bands? I should stress again, this is the same subculture in which bands like Behemoth aren’t totally reviled over the fact that its frontman Adam Darski hangs around Rob Darken from Graveland (who, I should say once again, is a self-described Nazi) and talks about how much he hates Antifa. Whether that’s a bad thing or not, it’s really up to you to decide that, though I would imagine Jani would think it’s so epic that he’ll try to get Behemoth to play at Steelfest one day. But seriously, I have to stress, these people actually seem to believe that a couple of internet lists actually have the power to decide who gets to play or not play at high-profile extreme metal festivals, and those who don’t conform will be ruthlessly persecuted. Considering that if anything bands like Satanic Warmaster still get to carry on with their overt neo-Nazism widely unchallenged, I’d say that such efforts, if they did exist, are surely proving ineffectual, though it’s honestly much more accurate to say that Satanic Warmaster aren’t being persecuted anywhere. I mean, fuck, even Vice seemed to take it at face value that maybe the guy from Satanic Warmaster wasn’t a Nazi, and that tells you all you need to know about the band’s status. If there is a massive Antifa conspiracy to throw right-wing black metal bands into gulags as Niklas and Jani seem to suggest there is, then I’m just not seeing it.
Skipping to the very end, it’s all ultimately very self-congratulatory from here. Utimately even if Jani expects the “mess” to worsen for him over the next few years, he also sees it as an opportunity for “the underground” to delve into deeper paths of extreme metal, and further as a “great cleansing”, in which “real black metal” (by which he means, the bands that are still willing to hang out with Nazis) will retreat from the mainstream and “back into the depths of darkness”, which he also seems to think is already happening. I guess one could make the argument that this is indeed a good thing, since that means we don’t have to deal with Goatmoon, Satanic Warmaster, Graveland, or their allies again. Black metal, he insists, will prevail regardless of “aging has-beens playacting ‘black metal’ for the masses to consume”, by which he of course means bands who complain about Nazis being in Steelfest. I do believe black metal will prevail and continue to be a worthy artform, but it’s not that it will prevail regardless of people who oppose NSBM, but rather it will prevail regardless of NSBM, and regardless of Steelfest, and regardless of you, Jani Laine.
Some people have pointed out that Niklas never once thought to discuss the fact that Steelfest’s line-up also consisted of Inquistion, a band whose frontman Dagon was convicted of possessing child pornography back in 2008 and whose work has also appeared on a compilation from Satanic Skinhead Propaganda, an outright NSBM label whose owner Antichrist Kramer also designed artwork for four of Inquisition’s albums. Yeah, I’d say that’s valid to talk about in relation to Steelfest. I would add further that they don’t talk about Nokturnal Mortum being on there, which is relevant because Nokturnal Mortum, although they claim to have renounced Nazism, are still an NSBM band and have played in the NSBM festival Asgardsrei. Or how about Destroyer 666, whose “classic” album Unchain the Wolves is essentially a white supremacist album and who still seem to write fascist lyrics into the present. But at the same time, what would be the point of discussing them? Jani would simply dismiss it all even if Miklas brought it up, and I’ll bet that Miklas himself probably didn’t think it was worth mentioning either, possibly because he doesn’t accept that these fascist bands are in fact fascist. The truth of the matter is that they don’t intend on discussing fascism creeping into extreme metal, except insofar as it’s to say that you are the real fascists for criticizing them.
Overall, this interview was lousy. It barely addressed the concerns that anyone had about Steelfest, it definitely wasn’t very objective, Jani was barely asked any difficult questions, he wasn’t meaningfully challenged over any decisions he’s made that might have enabled the NSBM community in some way, and both Niklas and Jani seem intent on obfuscating the very subject matter they’re trying to discuss by withholding crucial information, mainly names, about the subjects and examples they discuss in service of their overall argument. That last part in particular is deeply suspicious to me. It tells me that perhaps there is something being intentionally hidden, possibly because other metalheads would easily check them on it and point out problems if they actually named names.
Those who think that fascism and Nazism should not be allowed to creep into extreme metal, and whose love for black metal in particular does not force them to agree with Steelfest’s attitude towards bands like Goatmoon, Satanic Warmaster, or Graveland, or the other fascist bands we’ve discussed, will not be satisfied by Bardo Methodology’s interview or by Jani Laine’s excuses, and will not accept efforts to softball the presence NSBM in extreme metal communities.
To all fascists and their sympathizers like Lani…F.O.A.D.
I’d like to just give a special shout out to Astral Noize for their exposes on Marduk, Mgla and Horna, Variverkosto for their exposes about not only Steelfest but also the broader Finnish NSBM scene and its networks, and the Antifascist Black Metal Network for making me aware of the story of Galdr. Your anti-fascist work has informed the creation of this post, and it’s only right that I express solidarity on behalf of the broader goal of opposing NSBM.
Before we get into the article I’m planning on responding to, I’d just like to mention that, a few days ago, E. A. Koetting has been banned from Facebook and Instagram, ostensibly after a BBC investigation “exposed” his influence on Danyal Hussein, who killed Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman last year. I don’t think it’ll do much beyond giving Koetting and his simps a reason to gripe about censorship, particularly considering that his main forum, Become A Living God, still exists, but it is what it is. That said, Koetting’s defenders did have one point on their side: there are indeed people who are using Danyal Hussein’s actions as the basis for a moral panic against Satanism, and Matthew Feldman appears to be one of them.
Writing for The Independent, Feldman’s article is titled “Nazi-Satanism is real and dangerous – and big tech has given it a platform”. Yes I’m afraid that big tech has struck again and chosen to pollute our pure and innocent ecosystem with Satanism. I’m being facetious, of course. I know what he’s talking about, and it is a real problem that we on the Left Hand Path have been fighting over for quite some time now. Feldman, however, appears to have only heard about Satanism yesterday and it fucking shows in what he writes about Satanism.
Feldman opens his article with a brief introduction to the anti-Satanist moral panic of the 1980s, and states that this was “child’s play” compared to “what was to come next”. Indeed, the problem of groups like Order of Nine Angles and their offshoots really does make all that shit about underground Satanists brainwashing and abusing children from the 80s and 90s look like a nothingburger (well, assuming it wasn’t already a nothingburger to start with), but how does Feldman discuss this? He warns us of a “new” and more dangerous breed of Satanism, which he calls “left hand path Satanism”, and, well, I think I’ll just let him take it from here:
Known as “left-hand path” Satanism, its proponents are theistic Satanists that believe self-described acts of evil can manifest Satan or his minions, like Baal or Azazel. This may sound just as fanciful as the American craze of subliminal Satanism, but it’s not.
The terminology is very curious. He speaks of a “left hand path Satanism”, as though there is presumably a “right hand path Satanism” opposed to it, or indeed, as though the term “Left Hand Path” is the name of a sect of Satanism, and in both senses he would be profoundly wrong. There is no “Left Hand Path Satanism” as opposed to “Right Hand Path Satanism”, because Satanism is, as it has defined itself, a Left Hand Path religion, at least in the most basic sense that describes the Left Hand Path. The Left Hand Path is a term that refers not to a specific esoteric sect of Satanism, but to a broad and diverse family of religious and occult belief systems and traditions who are united primarily by the pursuit of antinomianism as a path to whatever the goal of the religion is – whether that’s unity with God, attaining enlightenment, deepening the cycle of reciprocity with the gods, etc. Satanism is a part of the family of the Left Hand Path because, in all its strands, it stresses the religious identification with the antinomian character or archetype of Satan and the embrace of social non-conformity for the purposes of individual self-expression and empowerment within what is, for the most part, a religious or esoteric context. I cannot for the life of me think of any form of Satanism that could be classed as “right hand path Satanism”, although funny enough I think the more Nazi or Aryanist forms of esoteric Satanism sort of come close (for reasons that I laid out here).
As to the idea of the belief that “self-described acts of evil can manifest Satan or his minions”, he is clearly referring to the Order of Nine Angles, the notorious neo-Nazi sect that is only barely mentioned in the article. The Order of Nine Angles and its offshoots are well-known for their doctrine that holds that self-described acts of evil – meaning terrorism, random murder, rape, and racist violence – are all ways to empower the practitioner of Satanism and black magick to become a god and bring about galactic empire under the aegis of a being named Vindex. Needless to say this is not just some generic theistic Satanist belief that is universal to theistic Satanism, but is very specific to the Order of Nine Angles and its offshoots, which also happen to be reviled by much of the rest of Satanism as a movement precisely because of their alignment with neo-Nazism.
A lot of the article is spent going over some pretty basic facts, and even covers the apparent presence of a “Celtic cross” tattoo on E A Koetting’s arm. Since I didn’t cover that previously, let’s briefly get into it here for a moment. This “Celtic cross” appears to be real and seems to be a specific variation of the “Sun cross”, a fairly generic and usually solar symbol that appeared in many different variations throughout history but which was recuperated (or rather appropriated) by fascists of various stripes. A “Celtic cross”, or “Celtic wheel cross” as it appears to be for Koetting, would be basically an equilateral cross surrounded by a circle, but the ends of the cross poke out of the circle, and Koetting’s cross seems to be a white nationalist variation of the “Celtic cross”. I can only imagine Koetting thinks it’s some kind of Pagan sun symbol (he has depicted the Irish god Lugh as a sun god, despite the complete lack of any basis for this in Irish myths and tradition) but the “Celtic wheel cross” as we know it probably never appeared anywhere before the Christian era, so it would be based on Christian aesthetics rather than pre-Christian aesthetics. Of course, trust Koetting to be utterly clueless like that.
However, the main problem comes with the issue of moral panic that builds up as the article progresses. Again, let’s take a passage from the article and let it speak for itself:
All this is horrific enough. But these incitements to murder and terror are scarcely confined to the uglier corners of the internet. To this day, E. A. Koetting happily plies his Satanist grift to more than 87,000 subscribers on YouTube. These cancerous ideas are obviously metastasising. Even a few short years ago these abhorrent acts might have also been dismissed as a “moral panic”. Today they pose a terrorist threat.
Here, Feldman seems confused. He seems to assume that it is the violent acts of esoteric neo-Nazis that would be dismissed as a moral panic, rather than the attitude taken towards Satanists or the narratives constructed around them. The moral panic of the 1980s and 1990s (which, by the way, still persists albeit less pronounced, but it is certainly visible in other parts of the world) was the narratives concerning the supposed actions of Satanists. It was not the actions themselves. And to be frank, the fact that the phrase moral panic is given in quotes suggests a dismissiveness of something that, if you actually talked to some of the many non-criminal and non-fascist Satanists that are out there, you’d know is a legitimate concern. Every Satanist and left hand path practitioner has expressed some concern that the murders committed by Danyal Hussein would eventually be used as a device through which to scapegoat Satanists in general, regardless of their affiliation with Order of Nine Angles, Tempel ov Blood, or Become A Living God, and regardless of whether or not they have committed any crimes to speak of. Satanists who are concerned about living their lives free to express themselves without fear of facing persecution and marginalization are right to be concerned about getting caught in a dragnet that isn’t designed to stop when it catches the right people.
There’s something else to note about this article. This article was published just yesterday, and E. A. Koetting was banned from Facebook a few days ago. Yet Feldman does not feel content for things to stop there. He notes that Koetting still hocks his ideas on YouTube, which is owned by Google, to an audience of currently 87,000 subscribers. Then, at the end of the article, he says this:
As the murders and money stack up, the question must be posed: what next? Are we simply to await more death, or is there something proactive that governments, and concerned citizens can do? We need to start urgently asking these questions. And start demanding answers. Otherwise, quite simply, more innocent victims will die at the hands of infatuated teenagers, hopped up on neo-Nazi Satanism. This is no “moral panic”. It has, instead, become moral to panic about the platform Big Tech has given to these and other extremists. Enough is indeed enough.
The obvious question here is what indeed has to happen for Feldman to be satisfied? I mean after all, the fate of society is at stake here. What is this “something proactive” that governments should do? Who are these “concerned citizens”, and what should they do? Feldman dismisses the language of moral panic, and yet he affirms it consistently, even declaring that moral panic is justified. The risk to non-Nazi and non-criminal Satanists of being vilified in the same way as they were decades ago is not to be dismissed. The question still hangs over our heads. If it is unacceptable for us simply wait for more death, and we need the state (as well as “concerned citizens”) to be “proactive”, then what is to be countenanced for such vague ends?
If we take Feldman’s arithmetic seriously, then every 1 in 1,000 of Koetting’s subscribers takes his ideas on board and uses them as the basis to commit terroristic or sacrifical violence, meaning there are 100 people like Danyal Hussein running around at least. But Danyal Hussein, so far, seems to be a unique case, at least in the sense that he’s the only person we know to have killed for E. A. Koetting’s black magick. And Koetting has been active on social media and writing books for years now. Although Koetting’s books undoubtedly contain advocacy for ritualistic murder and violence, it seems strange that only one person turned out to commit murders inspired by his work. And if we expand to the broader phenomenon of Nazi Satanism, it is definitely a serious problem, we have some fairly high-profile murders attached to the movement and there are active cells across different countries in the world. But how many people are involved with it? There is no reliable data for membership of the O9A, it’s barely possible to estimate their actual membership let alone that of Tempel ov Blood. Some believe the O9A is the largest Satanist organization in the world, but others suggest that their actual membership consists of a couple of thousand people. But there doesn’t seem to be any concrete statistics available to confirm how many people are in the O9A. I’ve never been able to tell you how many people were members of Joy of Satan, even back in the hey day of being on Yahoo Answers where you always saw them sooner or later, and there are lots of small-time, obscure Nazi Satanist groups on the internet. O9A just happens to be the largest of them all, by a mile.
Also, I cannot help but notice the increasing conversation among white supremacy whisperers about Nazism in relation to Satanism, Paganism, and the occult, and this periodically being cited as reasons to distrust Satanism, Paganism, and occultism, all the while we never do have the same conversation about Christianity, even though there are so many white supremacists in the West who identify themselves as Christians. Look around for all the major white supremacist and white nationalist groups in the United States. If they aren’t explicitly Christian in a certain theological sense, they certainly identify with some aspect of Christian culture and aesthetics, do not demonstrate any alignment with Satanism, Paganism, or esoteric belief systems. In fact, many white supremacist movements are influenced by a religious ideology known as Christian Identity, which believes that white people as descended from Adam and Eve are God’s chosen people and that Jews and non-whites are soulless “serpent seed” descended from Satan. There are Christian nationalist groups that constantly pump out white nationalist or adjacent propaganda and, if we take the whole stoschastic terrorism shit seriously, inspire a lot more violence than E. A. Koetting ever ended up doing. The vast majortiy of Trump supporters who beat up and run over anti-fascists do so with the comfort of their belief that the Christian God is on their side – not Satan, not Lucifer, not Odin, not Zeus, just God and his son Jesus. Even the infamous “Q Shaman” who came to Capitol Hill dressed like some kind of berserker from Norse Paganism was actually, despite his audacious Viking-like appearance, a Christian who ranted about elite Democrats being Satan worshipping pedophiles, which is definitely not something a consistent Pagan would do. But despite all of that, you will never hear the same people go on and on about how Christianity has a white supremacy problem, let alone an inherent one. The irony of course is that, even as far back as the early days of Christianity, despite the Bible’s teaching that there is neither Jew nor Greek “for you are all one in Christ Jesus”, several of the church fathers were vicious anti-Semites. I’m waiting for people like Matthew Feldman to declare a moral panic against Christian white supremacy, call it by name like he does with Satanic Nazism, unless he’s afraid of alienating Christians by calling them out.
I get the facts that Feldman uses to justify his case, more than I’m sure he would understand, but if anyone should be panicking, it is we who follow the left hand path and who have striven to beat back its fascist interlocutors for years now. We have been against the O9A since long before it hit the mainstream media headlines a couple of years ago. We’ve been well aware of the O9A, as well as other neo-Nazi groups like Joy of Satan, for longer than you jackasses have, and we’ve been fighting them for longer than you have. You only care about them now that some high-profile murders have thrust them onto the spotlight in a time where anti-fascism can seem more in vogue than ever, but we have constantly fought and opposed their presence and their attempts to exert influence over our community (or so-called community anyway). It matters to us in a way that it never really did for you. We have fought them before you stepped in, and we will continue to fight them long after you and the masses end up forgetting that people like Danyal Hussein ever existed. That’s because the path taken by the children of darkness is that of an iron-fisted commitment, at least for those who have patiently understood their destiny. So while we’re always happy to welcome any ally in the fight against fascism, we don’t appreciate someone wanting to talk about occultism and Satanism in a way that suggests they’ve done absolutely no background research on the subject in order to consciously whip up a moral panic that will serve only to hurt those who sincerely wish to practice the left hand path, including Satanism, without criminality or fascism.
So please, fuck off, because we are not a part of your right hand path, and we are not pawns in your moral panic bullshit that you disguise as anti-fascism.
There is a symbol that recurs often in the realm of esoterica, but whose meaning is largely misunderstood in modern times. Like many symbols found in either pre-Christian religion or broader occultism and mysticism, the Black Sun is a symbol that is associated with the Nazis because it was seen to have been adapted and recuperated by the Nazis. But the Nazi association belies its true meaning, which is far broader than the Nazi use of the name.
For starters, let’s get something straight: the symbol that is called Schwarze Sonne (“Black Sun”) or Sonnenrad (meaning “sun wheel”) by contemporary neo-Nazis is not actually an ancient symbol. Its design may have been adapted from an older symbol, but rather than being a symbol of a pre-Christian Germanic religion, the most likely candidate for such inspiration was probably a Merovingian ornamental disk, or Zierscheibe (“decorative disk”), simply representing the visible sun and its passage. That’s at least according to some scholars, though apparently it’s not really known if the Nazis attached any real significance to their sun wheel symbol. They may indeed have been based on an older form of jewellry dating back to the Iron Age, but it’s not clear what if any religious significance it had. At any rate, the Schwarze Sonne of the Nazis appears nowhere before the 20th century, and was invented by Wilhelm Landig as a substitute for the swastika and commssioned for Heinrich Himmler as part of his designs for Wewelsburg Castle. Apparently the Nazis believed that it was supposed to symbolize a source of mystic power and renewal for the “Aryan” race, which is definitely quite the leap from what might just have been a snazzy ornament (which they of course bastardized into a symbol of esoteric racism). But, before the Nazis came along, there was another, older Black Sun, one with an entirely different meaning to what the Nazis had in mind.
In alchemy, we see a symbol that is referred to in Latin as Sol Niger, literally meaning “Black Sun”. It is a symbol of the process of nigredo, the first stage of the alchemical process denoting a putrefaction or dissolution that constitutes the first stage of a process of purification of matter that leads to the creation of the philosopher’s stone. In a more symbolic sense, the process of nigredo can represent something like the dark night of the soul, a sort of depressive distillation of the soul/psyche that is part of the journey to spiritual awakening or the realization of faith. In general, Sol Niger tends to be a symbol somewhat associated with death, albeit a death that precedes rebirth and renewal, far from the Aryanist fantasies about it being a power source for the “master race”. It is perhaps the association with death and decay that leads some to link the symbol of Sol Niger to Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture and the planet of the same name, and it is here where things get really interesting.
Saturn, or Saturnus, was also considered a god of dissolution, renewal, as well as liberation. In Rome he was even sometimes identified with Dis Pater, the god of the underworld. It is thus only natural that he might be associated with death and decay, to the extent that he probably ended up having some influences on the Grim Reaper, the popular personification of death, with his scythe or sickle (though the proper Hellenic personification of death was Thanatos, known as Mors in Rome). Some modern commentators of myth also link Saturn with Mahakala, a wrathful manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva and one of the main wrathful deities of esoteric Buddhism. Saturn and Mahakala do have some things in common; both are associated with the colour black, both have some association with time (denoted by Mahakala’s namesake), both can be thought of as chthonic deities to a certain extent (see Bernard Faure’s Protector’s and Predators on the broad chthonic character of Daikokuten, the Japanese transmission of Mahakala), and both have a fairly clear association with death, with Mahakala sometimes being identified with/as death itself (though the name Mahakala is sometimes interpreted as meaning “Beyond Death”). The planet Saturn was also, in some contexts, associated with the underworld in the specific sense that it was seen as the “sun of night”. In ancient Mesopotamian astronomy, Saturn was strangely associated with the Sun, but was also believed to be black in colour, hence in a way it was to them a black sun. This idea was also linked to a myth concerning Shamash, the Babylonian sun god known elsewhere as Utu, who somtimes travelled beneath the earth to the realm of Arallu, the kingdom of the underworld abundant with gold, to fulfill his function as the supreme judge of the dead.
Saturn also seems to have been linked to the sun elsewhere as well. In India, there are apparently numerous Sanskrit words recurring in the writings of Varaha-mihira that point to Saturn as “son of the Sun”. Ptolemy said that the people living throughout southern Asia revered the planet Venus as Isis and Saturn as Mithras Helios. In Egypt, Saturn is referred to as “Horus the Bull, that is the Star of the Sun”. The idea of the sun god descending to the underworld is also familiar to Egypt, with Ra journeying there every night on his barge, donning the appearance of a ram as he does so. The Mayans also believed that the Sun descended and journeyed through the underworld, taking the form of the “Night Sun”, in the form of the Jaguar God of the Underworld. The idea of a “night sun” or “dark sun” can also be found in the religious mythos of antiquity. In Egypt, the “night sun” is Osiris, the fertility god of the underworld. In Greece, it is Dionysus, the chthonic mystery god usually remembered as a god of wine, who was apparently described as the “Night Sun” by Plutarch. Dionysus was not usually a solar deity by almost any stretch, but was sometimes associated with the Sun by Orpheus (who said that the Sun is also called Dionysus). The Vedic Indian god Varuna was sometimes seen as a sort of solar deity, and in the 19th century it was said he was like a “night sun”, which suits his role in that he presided over the evening and sometimes was a god of the underworld.
As Nika Lavrentyeva and Ekaterina Alexandrova discuss in Liminal Sources of Dangerous Powers: A Case of the Black Ram (2020), there is also a “black sun” featured in ancient Egyptian texts and iconography, with multiple meanings. In the tomb of Irunefer at Deir el-Medina, the deceased is shown to be illuminated by the sun, shadows who want to harm him are captured in the Netherworld, and “the darkness” in the form of a black sun aborbs all the evil which is arrayed against the deceased, thus the black sun here functions as almost a kind a sin-eater. The papyrus of Ani made for his burial depicts supernatural villains threatening the deceased and being covered with the darkness of a shining black sun, which is meant to refer to a place for the sinful dead; it seems that Christianity was not the only religion to believe in a place of punishment after death. Similar to the context of the sun god Utu, the black sun appears in connection to judgement in the Netherworld, and in monuments it appears as a devourer of the sin and evil of the damned souls, thus protecting the cosmic order and the beatified dead.
All told, the nocturnal sun in the ancient world seems to have been a cipher for the power of the underworld, and for the unity of light with darkness, the hidden aspect of the former within the latter. It is perhaps not for nothing that Sol Niger symbolized putrefaction, dissolution, and in a certain sense death. Nor indeed is it for nothing that the cycle of the Sun itself is part of a network of myths concerning journeys to the underworld, the discovery of the dark underbelly of life itself. We may even hark back to the fall of Lucifer in a certain sense, in that, however much Wiccans prefer to shy away from Luciferian mythology and pathos in their neopagan enterprise, Doreen Valiente herself relates the fall of Lucifer to the cycle of the Sun, this fall being re-enacted every year by, after rising to its heights in the midsummer, falling from said heights to hide in the realms below. Incidentally, Valiente even admitted in private correspondences to the Luciferian Michael Howard that she believed Lucifer to be the true name for the “god of the Old Religion”, presumably referring to the Horned God of Wicca. Of course, this is not to say that the Black Sun is necessarily a symbol of Lucifer, though the nocturnal sun motif can be connected to certain views about Lucifer and his fall, even though strictly speaking Lucifer is the spirit of the morning star. The Black Sun or Sol Niger in alchemy is a sign that points to the light that awaits those who dive into darkness, into the underworld, in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. I fail to see what the Sonnenrad used by the Nazis has to do with any of that.
The last thing to know about all of this is that the Nazi sun wheel symbol that is called the Black Sun, or Schwarze Sonne, seems to have never actually been called a Black Sun by the Nazis. The term “Black Sun” in reference to the Wewelsburg sun wheel symbol is a more contemporary appellation. Apparently it only started being called “Black Sun” during the 1990s, but the Nazis never actually called it that (why would they have, considering the symbol in the Wewelsburg mosaic was not actually black, more like a kind of dark green), and apparently we don’t know what they actually called it instead. I suppose we might assume they simply called it a Sonnenrad, since it was, after all, a sun wheel, but it was not called a Black Sun, and their sun wheel has nothing to do with the Black Sun. In other words, it’s just a sun wheel that was designed specifically by and for the Nazis.
So, in summary, the Nazi symbol that is commonly referred to as “the Black Sun” is not actually the Black Sun, and not even the Nazis themselves referred to it as such, and the real Black Sun is not a symbol of Nazism. The symbol falsely called the Black Sun is nothing more than a stylized Germanic sun wheel that may just have been a generic sun symbol but with added Aryanist mysticism attached to it. Stop using Nazi symbolism to denote an old symbol of darkness that never belonged to the Nazis, and stop letting neo-Nazis recuperate and bastardize old symbols that don’t necessarily belong to them in order to lend some kind of mystic credence to their genocidal politics.
Tell me if you’ve seen this exchange before. Someone on social media almost out of nowhere gives their opinion that Satan is actually good, probably drawing on a popular Milton-esque conception of Satan. An incredulous and perhaps conservative individual takes exception to this statement and replies sacrastically that Hitler was good. The former person, with a certain blamelessness, denounces his responder as a fascist. I have also seen far-right-leaning metalheads whine that edgy paeans to Satan are to be expected in metal while bands that actively promote fascism or Nazism and sing the praises of Hitler are to be be shunned. I have seen at least one of those sport the imagery of the German Empire while making such pronouncements (that empire, incidentally, having been run for twenty years of its existence by the insane volkisch ideologue Wilhelm II).
The conceit being displayed in this argument is obvious. Satan and Hitler are to be taken as equal abstract representations of human evil, never minding of course the obvious problem that one of them is a fictional character and one of them was an all too real human. This alone only scratches the surface, however. If you read the Bible closely, you’ll notice that, for a start, Satan never fell from heaven in the events before the Book of Genesis, and so throughout the Old Testament he is an angel in the court of God. Even in the New Testament, the only time he appears to be an enemy of God is in the Book of Revelation, when a vision depicts Satan as having fallen from heaven. This scene itself is a.representation of the victory of Jesus over Satan, and death, through his own death on the cross at Calvary and then resurrection. This would mean that, before that fall, the Satan that tried to tempt Jesus in the desert was still an angel in God’s court, carrying out the same tempting, accusing function that he had in the Old Testament. What that means for the goodness, or evilness, of Satan kind of depends on how you choose to interpret things, not least given the Bible is much more open-ended a collection of myths and fables than Christians usually like to let on.
From one perspective, you can still interpret Satan as an evil figure here, in fact as an angel he may represent an abstract principle of evil persecuting mankind, but this is all on the orders of God, at least until the resurrection of Jesus happens. So from a certain standpoint, God ultimately comes out as the artificer of evil, as well as good, since all of the evil attributed to Satan emerges directly from God, being carried out on his orders, meaning that, even if Satan is evil, so is God to a certain extent. On the other hand, if God is still supposed to be good, indeed the ultimate good, then Satan’s activities on God’s orders must serve the purpose of good in some way, even if he seems to be the accuser of humans. Now this is a perspective that I, personally, do not hold. I think that Satan in the context of Biblical lore comes off as a tyrant angel serving under a tyrant god, rather than everyone’s favorite goat-headed rebel, and him being an extension of God’s power over humans pretty much damns God in some way. But if one really has to insist that God is good, and this means that everything God does is ultmately good, then logically even Satan, being under God’s service, would ultimately be good.
Of course, expect all of this to fly straight over the heads of anyone trying to compare Satan to Hitler. No doubt they barely even read the Bible, and their only conception of Satan comes from popular retellings of Christian myth which obfuscate the real meaning contained in the Biblical mythos. I notice that right-wing Christians have a similar pathology that rears its head whenever left-leaning critics of right-wing policy on immigration point out that the Bible actually endorses that immigrants be treated with compassion and liberality (see for example Exodus 23:9) and not with hostility and mistrust. Such is usually responded to with whiny memes meant to convey that they, as apostates, have no right to talk Christians about their faith, a gesture of defiance that serves only to cover for their own embarassment at their failure to have read their own scripture. White nationalist Christians suffer from the same blindspot on race, and mock you for pointing out that the New Testament preaches that there is neither Jew nor Greek, while refusing to cite any part of the Bible to back up their own racism themselves.
So next time some imbecile tries to gaslight you into witless comparisons between Satan and Hitler, you may want to talk to them about the role of Satan in the Bible. Or alternatively just ignore them, since you won’t get many meaningful conversations with them anyway.
Sometimes when I check my emails I get notifications from the website of Hells Headbangers Records, probably because of one time when I bought a Rigor Mortis T-shirt from them. I don’t typically complain. Hells Headbangers is a venerable metal label responsible for the distribution of countless classic metal albums, both old and new, and the emails I get from them keep me somewhat up to date about what they release, a lot of which, though, consists of re-releases of classic albums, but it is often useful in that it sometimes alerts me to bands that I hadn’t heard of beforehand. As is my instinct as a metalhead what then follows is a trip to Metal Archives or somewhere to do some light research. In that spirit, the most recent instance of this is an email telling me about a band called Abhomine, a black/metal band based in Florida, USA. Through some light research I learned about one of its members, Pete Helmkamp, and the fact that he wrote a book called The Conqueror Manifesto: Capricornus Teitan, and it’s from there that we learn about his fascist ideas.
Helmkamp is fairly prolific in the intersection between black metal and death metal. Before Abhomine, he was in more famous black/death metal bands such as Order From Chaos, Angelcorpse, and Revenge, the last of which is considered to be a pioneer in a subset of black/death metal referred to as bestial black metal (or “war metal”), which is even more extreme than garden variety black metal, death metal or any mixture thereof – the basic distinction lies in the significant influence of grindcore on the overall sound, which tends to be generally more chaotic, frenetic, and brutal than baseline black metal or death metal. To summarize, bestial black metal is not simply what you get when you mix black metal and death metal; it’s what you get when to mix black metal, death metal and crack cocaine.
The main focus here is his book, The Conqueror Manifesto, which seems to have been published in 1993 under the alias Seirizzim. In his book, he advocates a philosophy aimed at helping mankind reach a new stage in human development that he terms Homo Deus, which Feldkamp defines as the stage in which he is free from mythological thinking and morality. On the surface, his philosophy doesn’t seem that different from baseline Satanism, at least judging from what extracts from the book I can find. He bases his doctrine on “self-will”, which sounds like the kind of rebranding of Nietzschean will-to-power that would fit pretty much perfectly within Satanic philosophy, and the doctrine of might makes right certainly isn’t out of place in baseline Satanism. But from reading interviews with Pete Feldkamp about his philosophy, it’s clear that there are other undertones that are seemingly unique to his philosophy, and which reveal deep fascist leanings. We can gain key insights into his thinking via an interview he took part in with the Finnish metal zine Isten, which seems to have been undertaken during his time in Order From Chaos.
When asked about the mentality of the average American, which the interviewer characterizes as pathologically hypocritical, Feldkamp declares nearly all of humanity to be a slave race and that “only the elite ASTR will have the necessary strength and wisdom to rule”. What is ASTR? Later in the interview, Helmkamp tells us that ASTR stands for Arya Serpent Theos Race, which he believes to be a European race that once ruled much of the ancient world – he cites the Central Asian steppes, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Egypt and North India as their supposed original territory. If that’s not enough he also seems to believe that Chinese civilization has European rather than Asiatic roots, citing the alleged discovery of mummified Europeans dating back to 2000 BC as proof. What this thesis comes down to when you think about it for about five minutes is the idea that Europeans ruled the Old World, which can be taken to mean that the white race, or “Aryans”, (what else could Arya refer to?) once ruled the world. If you think that seems uncharitable, just look at the way he endorses Adolf Hitler in that interview as a man who had “incredible” ideas. He even cites his sense of Germanic identity (the name Helmkamp being apparently of German extraction) as an influence on his way of thinking and acting. Therefore, Helmkamp is an ethnocentric fascist, nay, a neo-Nazi of some type, and it is laughable then that in the same interview he claims that his idea of “Heretic Supremacy” as not based on racial supremacy. There’s also something he said in an interview with Voices from the Darkside, wherein he appears to give a soft defence of eugenics:
We burn cattle in England because of a terrible contagious disease. Do we burn humans in Africa because of a terrible contagious disease? We proscribe birth control to koala bears in Australia after we allowed the population to grow out of control. Firstly, wouldn’t bullets be cheaper, and then we could utilize the meat. Secondly, do we proscribe birth control to humans that we allow to grow out of control? We proscribe rice. Indeed. Evolution does not happen over night.
During the mid-1990s, Helmkamp and The Unsane (from the Dutch black metal band Bestial Summoning) formed a group promoting his philosophy called the Heretic Supremacist Brotherhood. Take note also of this flyer they released, which seems to have been released at around the time of the release of Helmkamp’s manifesto in 1993.
As you can see, what is presented is a synthesis of Satanism, the doctrine of Aleister Crowley, Nietzschean philosophy, and the writings of Adolf Hitler. It’s generally a good rule of thumb that if you cite Mein Kampf as a key inspiration for your philosophy, and indeed you refer to your own doctrine as “following in the wake of Mein Kampf”, you’re a Nazi. In addition to this is the inclusion of the writings of Adam Parfrey, a fascist and a supporter of eugenics who in turn was beloved by fascists.
You will also notice references to OLHP, meaning the Order of the Left Hand Path. The Order of the Left Hand Path is a fascist Satanist group founded by Kerry R. Bolton in 1992. This group existed for a few years before reconstituting as Ordo Sinistra Vivendi in 1994, which then went on to become fairly influentual in the black metal underground of the early-to-mid-1990s. Bolton seems to have originally been a member of the Temple of Set, but left the group after some sort of dispute with other members. I imagine this dispute must have had something to do with his neo-Nazi beliefs because, prior to founding the Order of the Left Hand Path, Bolton had already been deeply involved in neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist movements since the 1970s, and from there went on to have a whole network of Satanic Nazis surrounding him. In 1994, Bolton also started another Satanic Nazi organization known as Black Order, which served as a sort of on-the-ground activist movement intended to mobilize groups of like-minded Satanic Nazis, including artists and musicians, to advance their ideological goals. And if you needed some idea of the nature of Bolton’s Nazi ideology, know that he believed that the world was being dominated by what he called a “Puritan-Jewish aristocracy” seeking to impose a New World order by creating a docile and consumeristic mass via the three prongs of laissez-faire capitalism, communism, and multiculturalism, and that only Nazism and fascism could serve as effective opposition against these forces. Furthermore he published several pro-fascist books through Realist Publications and Renaissance Press, distributed a series of National Socialist texts from David Myatt from the Order of Nine Angles, and issued a rerelease of Savitri Devi’s The Lightning and the Sun. He even founded a Thelema-oriented group called The Thelemic Society in 1996, which sought to establish Thelema as a “fighting creed” for his ideology.
The doctrine of the OLHP/OSV seems to be based on an extrapolation of Nietzsche’s concept of the Ubermensch (or Overman, the next stage of human development which would overcome the perceived decadence and egalitarianism of the “last man”), in that it bases its philosophy on the idea of the Higher Man, a sort of midway between the ordinary man and the Ubermensch which serves as a nexus of transition to the Ubermensch. The goal of the Satanist in this doctrine is to start the path of embodying the Higher Man, which means withdrawal from mass society, and to create what it deems the Faustian Civilization, their name for a society which discards the various doctrines they despise (Christianity, liberalism, socialism, human rights, egalitarianism, humanism, democracy, the “welfare state” and so forth) and expunges those they deem to be inferior through eugenicsn programs, ruled by an elite composed of what it deems to be “Faustian heretics”, who through their governance will usher in the arrival of Homo Galactica, the genetically engineered successor to mankind. Just the reference to Homo Galactica is a suggestion of heavy influence from the Order of Nine Angles, whose whole schtick concerning Satanism is that it is supposed to be the religion of a space-faring Aryan empire who will conquer the universe. One main difference though is that Nietzsche is directly emphasized in OLHP/OSV in a way that he wasn’t in other groups, and they even refer to Nietzsche as “Satan’s hammer”. The organization offered courses on their version of Satanism that were taught via Collegium Satanas, which taught that Satan was an archetypal opponent of stasis and conformity (pretty much the same doctrine the Church of Satan teaches), that Nietzschean philosophy is the cornerstone of Satanism to the point that Nietzsche was the primary basis of Anton LaVey’s own philosophy, that Satanism is an anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian doctrine that seeks to bring about a god-man race through eugenics, and that the Faust who sold his soul to Mephistopheles was based on the Norse god Odin. Despite being founded by a neo-Nazi, the OLHP wasn’t a completely fascist organization, as suggested by a schism that involved a member named Tani Jantsang, who was a Marxist Satanist (yes, that apparently exists) and the creator of a group called the Satanic Reds which blended Satanism with communist ideolgy and various Eastern religious/spiritual influences – indeed, they are notable for their thesis that Satan comes from the words Sat and Tan, which they claim to be Vedantic words and concepts. The Sat-Tan doctrine is clearly visible in the writings of Kerry Bolton and the OLHP as is suggested by Bolton’s reference to this theology in a 1993 edition of Key of Alocer, a New Zealand-based underground black metal zine, though it seems this influence was apparently discarded in 1994 when the OLHP became Ordo Sinistra Vivendi.
There appears to be quite a bit of crossover between Feldkamp and a network of Satanic Nazis who promote their own idiosyncratic takes on what is otherwise the philosophy of the Order of Nine Angles and even Anton LaVey in parts, all united in what seems to be a synthesis of Satanic philosophy and esoteric racialist politics. And thus, what we have in Feldkamp is an avatar of a type of racialist Satanism that had been developing and growing back in the early 1990s, where it co-habitated with elements of the black metal underground. What’s also troubling is the knowledge that, for a time, Hells Headbangers Records sold Felkamp’s Conqueror Manifesto on their website, thus giving his brand of Satanism a platform.
In New Delhi this week, as US President Donald Trump visits India, violent unrest has been erupting for a few days now as Hindus clash with Muslims over a policy implemented by Narendra Modi, the current prime minister, known as the Citizenship Amendment Act. As of now 21 people have been killed and up to 200 people have been injured. What is noteworthy about these riots is that Muslim settlements in particular have been scorched while apparently Hindu settlements have not been scorched, suggesting that a significant portion of the violence and destruction would have been instigated by Hindutva extremists. The riots also see Hindutva mobs chanting “Jai Shri Ram”, meaning “Hail Lord Ram” (or Rama, an avatar of Vishnu), which is a major rallying cry for Hindutvas, and it is here that we can establish the major context as relates to Hindutva of these riots, and from there why we should not be surprised about these riots (other than in relation to the scale of the violence, of course).
We can begin with the Citizenship Amendment Act. Many commentators highlight that it is a law designed to make it easier for non-Muslims to gain Indian citizenship. It’s true purpose, however, is to directly exclude Muslims from Indian citizenship so that they could be deported. As part of this legislative program the Indian government introduced a National Register of Citizens, which requires all Indians to provide documentation proving that they are Indian citizens, while the Citizenship Amendment Act would grant citizenship documents to any illegal immigrants who are not Muslims. Furthermore the government is also building detention camps for the purpose of holding people who fail to attain citizenship, using the labour of the very Muslims that the government will later detain there upon its completion. While some would deny that this is intended to unjustly discriminate against Muslims, Amit Shah, Modi’s Minister of Home Affairs and close ally, has openly stated that the party intends to implement the CAA for the purpose of granting non-Muslims citizenship and then implementing the NRC in order to deny citizenship to Muslims (or “the infiltrators” as he calls them). This suggests that the Bharatiya Janata Party knows exactly what they’re doing by implementing this legislation – they want to create a country where Muslims are denied the basic rights of citizenship on the grounds of their faith. What’s more, what is happening in India has striking parallels to what happened in Nazi Germany. The Nazis similarly drafted legislation designed to exclude Jews from German citizenship through what was known as the Nuremberg Laws. And of course, we all know what happened to the Jews after that. Not to mention, Amit Shah has very publicly referred to Muslims not only as “infiltrators”, but also refers to them as “sucking the blood of this country like parasites”, which is in many ways an echo of kind of blood libel that was once reserved for Jews in anti-semitic tirades, such as the kind that were promulgated by the Nazis. We can safely conclude, then, that this legislation is the means by which India will transform into a fascist state, and so what Modi and his government are doing is fascism, plain and simple.
So it should come as no surprise then thhere have been multiple protests over this law for months. It is worth noting that said protests had not initially descended into mob violence, it was only relatively recently (as of Sunday) that clashes began to break out. Given that the Hindutvas have a habit of instigating and causing violence towards political opponents without provocation, we are left to assume that it is the Hindutvas, perhaps seeking to browbeat popular dissent, that are the primary cause of the violence.
Then there’s the “Jai Shri Ram” rallying cry. Last year, a Muslim man named Tabrez Ansari was murdered by a mob of Hindutva men in Jharkhand. They tied him to a pole, beat him, and forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” while he pleaded for his force, before ultimately handing him over to the police, who imprisoned him and left him to die from his injuries. The month before had seen a steep rise in violent attacks carried out against innocent Muslims by Hindutva thugs, who just like in this instance forced their victims to chant “Jai Shri Ram”, along with other nationalist slogans such as “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (“Long Live Mother India”) and “Pakistan Murdabad” (“Death to Pakistan”). The slogan “Jai Shri Ram” likely originated as a simple religious greeting, comparable to “Namaste” and the like. However, since the 1980s, the Bharatiya Janata Party and various Hindutva movements used it as a political slogan as part of their campaign to build a temple to Rama in a part of Ayodhya that they believe was controlled by Hindus and wrongfully usurped by Muslims. In 1992, the Babri Masjid mosque that once sat there was destroyed by BJP-aligned mobs, who chanted “Jai Shri Ram” in the midst of their destruction. Ever since, that chant has frequently accompanied various acts of Hindutva violence and rape, such as the Gargi College molestations that occurred earlier this month, and the BJP has adopted that slogan for their own purposes. As such, the chanting of “Jai Shri Ram” can be seen as the Hindutva equivalent of an Islamist terrorist shouting “Allahu Akbar” while carrying out his crimes.
Finally, as I learned about the riots one question struck me: what was Modi doing about these riots? After all, the last time I recall Modi presiding over a major religious riot was when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2002, when riots Hindus began attacking and killing Muslims. Despite a Supreme Court ruling exonerating him, clearing him of complicity, there is still a sense that he did nothing to disperse the riots, or indeed may have instigated them himself, and it’s rather telling that, every time the subject comes up, he has a habit of dodging the subject and once even walked out of an interview wherein he was asked if he regretted that the killings happened. No one would assume that this was the action of a man of clear conscience, free of culpability or complicity, capable of defending his actions, other than a complete and total rube. Now that he is again residing over a major riot, this time as Prime Minister, it becomes pertinent to ask what his actions over the riots have been so far. Not much, I imagine, considering he’s rather busy doing trade talks with Trump, other than a tepid appeal to peace and brotherhood – tepid, I say, because his entire political project has been built atop anything but. And so far, I have been hearing reports about how police in New Dehli have done very little to intervene in the situation, with some police forces claiming they are helpless to act, and telling journalists that they cannot protect them. Needless to say this doesn’t sound like a situation that has been put under control.
In my opinion, the bloodshed in New Dehli is the culmination of a growing and strengthening fascist movement in India, and what we are seeing can be treated as a repeat of the atrocities that happened in Gujarat about 18 years ago. We’re seeing signs of a grim future for India, as the stage is set for what amounts to the rebirth of the Third Reich.
In January 9th of last year, a YouTuber by the name of Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) announced that he was planning on starting a new political movement on the internet that he thought would eventually break into mainstream politics in the real world. He called it the Liberalist movement, and we call it Liberalistism because seriously what the fuck is wrong with that name. The rationale for that name was to distinguish himself from modern liberalism because, of course, modern liberalism is too politically correct for him (even though it stems from the same rationale as liberals like Karl Popper who he should be all rights be praising as one of his own). He started a website for the movement not long afterwards, and he would have livestreams talking about the principles of his Liberalist project, and would engage in debates with alt-right YouTubers defending his concept of Liberalistism. But after a few months, nothing ultimately came of it before Carl eventually decided to abandon the project in favour of joining UKIP, and the website had never been updated at any point during the Liberalist saga. There are still accounts that associate with the Liberalist movement, and they still post political content, but beyond that the movement has no bearing on politics, whether on the internet or in real life.
Now you might be wondering, why the hell am I talking about some fat English classical liberal YouTuber? Well, because I fear his failure is eerily echoed into another project: The Global United Nightside Movement.
Last month, I covered this project on this blog, expressing my hopes and fears for the project. I had expected that within a month, maybe we wouldn’t see a fully consolidated mass movement, but at least that the people behind the movement would be at least talking about it. Hell, I expected a website of some kind. But after well over a month, what happened? Nothing. There is no discussion of the Global United Nightside Movement project anywhere. I’ve gone through Thomas Karlsson’s Facebook for updates. No real updates were found, except for maybe a cryptic post about how this year the LHP’ers are supposed to take action, but in what way is not at all clear and still doesn’t really discuss the movement. The only time the movement is actually talked about is in a literal repeat of the same post from August 9th. I check out Don Webb? Nothing. Michael W. Ford? Nothing. Not even his YouTube channel has anything to say about it. Stephen Flowers? Nothing. There is not a single ounce of discussion of this project, despite there evidently being some credible interest in the project, and there is no website for it. In fact, as it stands now, when you type “Global United Nightside Movement” on Google to find out anything about it, you’ve probably discovered my blog as the first thing that pops up.
Now why does this matter exactly? Well a nascent movement of any type needs to have some presence for it to go anywhere. That means discussion of what the project means, or at the very least a website that signifies its existence as a real, potentially credible movement that people can go to and learn about, and possibly become a part of. But no such thing exists. Also, going back to the Liberalist movement, at least Carl Benjamin tried to start something credible with his shitty Liberalist movement. At least he started a website, some Facebook groups, and discussions of Liberalist ideas and strategies. But in the case of Thomas Karlsson’s Global United Nightside Project, there’s nothing, and it’s been well over a month. Carl and his Liberalists are more productive than Karlsson and his crew, and this is a source of grave concern to me given the state of the Left Hand Path movements today.
Think about it: the Church of Satan is doing nothing other than correcting people on Twitter and making money for Peter Gilmore and his wife. Jeremy Crow’s Luciferian Research Society website was doomed to irrelevance outside of the people who already use it due to its failure to change to a new hosting site. There is no news coming from the Assembly of Light Bearers, which leads me to believe that nothing is happening with them. Back in 2015, when they were called the Greater Church of Lucifer they actually came close to having an official church in Texas. But after a harrassment campaign from Christian zealots, their landlord refused to renew the lease that they acquired for the church premises and so the church disappeared. Was there a new church established after this? No. Did the Greater Church of Lucifer do anything after this? No. They got scammed by Jacob McKelvy, reformed into the Assembly of Light Bearers and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing other than reorganize their website. No one is actually doing anything there. Michael W. Ford is still publishing books and Jeremy Crow I think is still giving lectures, but that’s about it. The Temple of Set actually does have something going for it in that Michael A Aquino released a revision of The Satanic Bible, but, as I’ve explained, it represents a push towards some of the most idealist garbage I’ve ever seen outside of esoteric fascism. The Neo-Luciferian Church may as well be dead, because they’ve done absolutely nothing of note and haven’t been active online in a few years, and their websites are either outdated or gone. The Sect of the Horned God still appears to be somewhat active, their website and social pages still post pretty regularly, but other than that they aren’t producing literature and I haven’t seen them do anything outside of the internet. The only group that’s doing anything to affect anything in the real world is The Satanic Temple, and they’re an embarrassment to Satanism – not so much because of their actual activism, as some strive to suggest, but because of their ludicrous liberal identity politics and their serious organizational problems. Of course, the Order of the Nine Angles is doing something alright: they’ve been busy infiltrating neo-Nazi movements.
So, with a few exceptions, it seems to me that nothing is growing in the Left Hand Path movements, and what is growing in the Left Hand Path doesn’t seem to be going in a positive direction. This to me just puts the Global United Nightside Movement in a position of being wasted potential, and the Left Hand Path more broadly in a position of doom. No really. Nothing is growing for us, nothing is developing, no credible movement other than a handful of online actors is manifesting. That’s not to say nothing is happening, per se. Books are still being published, people are still talking about their beliefs and expressing them in some way, but nothing is coaslescing into an effective movement capable of leading the people away from Abrahamism. And why would we be in a position to do that. The major movements don’t even realize that Christianity is coming back and only The Satanic Temple seems to be attempting to do something about that. You’d think that the rise of someone like Jordan Peterson bringing people back to the Christian faith would be motivation for us to fight back and assert our values on a grand scale, to actually wage war with Christianity like we should, but not only has this not happened, but a lot of us ended up liking him and treating him as a subject of serious study, and to be honest I used to be one of those people until I found out about his Maxims for Men. It’s like we shit on The Satanic Temple for being liberals and sometimes rightly so but at the same time we’re not actually fighting for our values like they are.
Yeah, all told, this looks like a hefty dose of reactionary and potentially even fascistic influence, possibly even hinting at a similar type of creationism as Michael Aquino, coming from the key figure behind the Global United Nightside Movement. So what’s the libertarian part exactly? Well he does talk quite a bit about sex and nudity in religious contexts, and opposes the censorship of adult nudity on Facebook, which (to be fair) I agree with him on for the most part, but let’s be honest I find it difficult to believe that he’s in this out of a consistent belief in freedom, if you catch my drift.
Most worrisome of all, and I’m sure this will support my worries about fascism further, is his endorsement of a book about the life and work of Guido von List. Called Wotan’s Awakening: The Life and Times of Guido von List, and forwarded by none other than Michael Moynihan (who, btw, is totally not a fascist), the book appears to be an examination of the legacy of the eponymous 19th-20th century volkisch occultist. But who is Guido von List? The short answer is: he’s the pretty much the grandfather of the type of racist volkisch paganism you find espoused by neo-Nazis and a major inspiration for the Nazi Party. The long answer: Guido von List is the creator of a gnostic racialist volkisch pagan sect that he referred to as Wotanism, which he also designed as the exoteric form of another religion called Armanism, also known as Ariosophy, which is basically a system of occultism centered around the “wisdom of the Aryan race”. Ariosophy is the esoteric core of his doctrine which was meant for the elites while Wotanism is the folk religion that he intended for the masses to believe in. His opposition to Christianity and the Catholic Church did not stem from the philosophical substance of Christianity and the church (or lack thereof), but instead from some racist dribble about Christianity being a foreign religion in contrast to what he believed to be the authentic ancestral Indo-European religion, despite the fact that Christianity as we know it was actually synthesized within the Western world through the transfusion of Hellenistic concepts into Jewish salvationism. Although the Armanists would eventually be purged by the Nazis, von List’s doctrine presaged, and some would say inspired, the spiritual ideology of Nazism through its racialist characteristics, specifically regarding the dominion of the Aryans. He believed in an ideal society that consisted of imperial pan-German rule under a rigid hierarchical society organized along the lines of feudalism and Qabbalistic occultism, with Aryans at the top of the hierarchy and the non-Aryans at the bottom, oppressed by their Aryan overlords. The Aryans would be free of the wage system, relieved of labour and entitled to a life of liberty and dignity (as far as von List would define those things anyway) while their non-Aryan counterparts would be subject to the wage system, robbed of freedom and dignity, and barred from certain jobs and positions and even real citizenship because of their lack of racial purity. In addition to this he believed that the new society should require families to keep detailed genealogical records to prove their racial purity and uphold an authoritarian patriarchal social structure based on the supreme authority of the father. So needless to say he was a fascist, and a proto-Nazi one at that, and apparently Thomas Karlsson thinks it’s a good idea to promote his beliefs within the Left Hand Path. Frankly, if this is the man that Thomas Karlsson thinks has some valuable spiritual insights for us, then I think he should probably not talk about “imperialist religions” anymore.
Now, of course, you might point out that Karlsson is one guy out of the four main people doing this project. Well OK, Don Webb doesn’t seem to have the same worldview as him at least from what I’ve seen, and Michael W Ford doesn’t say much, but the less said about Stephen Flowers, the better, given his belief in the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory. Not to mention that Karlsson appears to be the main figure behind this movement. Thus it is not hard to connect the dots as far as where this movement might be going.
All of this, even at an early stage, makes me worry. I have a sense of foreboding at play. I complained before about how the Order of Nine Angles was pushing fascism, specifically actual neo-Nazism, into the Left Hand Path through subversion, but given that the O9A don’t seem to be involved here, it leads me to suspect that the slide towards esoteric fascism in this space will be the work of Thomas Karlsson’s influence by means of his promotion of Ariosophy and authoritarian hierarchical values. And if this is going to be the main push from our movement towards a united front, I’m left thinking that, perhaps, there is no way out of this one. Maybe esoteric fascism is not merely coming to the Left Hand Path, but in a sense it’s always been with these spaces, and that in this case they’re going to just either tolerate it or say nothing or do nothing to push back against such influences, and there’s nothing I can do about it. At which point, we’re fucked.
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